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It's been a while!

Posted on Thu 19 October 2017 at 06:33 - 0 Comments - Link

Well, Ive been a bit busy.....

a brief recap of the last few years would be I have loved living in New Zealand.  Just last week I went along the escarpment track from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay (find it on www.teararoa.org.nz). I did that then ran back along SH1 to my car and I was grinning as I ran - just the being here still enthuses me. 

I gave up smoking over 3 years ago and then spent 2 years moaning about getting fat.  So I started doing a bit of walking, then running, then added a bit of cycling and swimming and lo and behold, I transformed into the wonder I am today.....I've done several sprint distance Triathlons including one in Scotland when I was home in August and I'm signed up for a duathlon in Wellington next month and the Kapiti triathlon in February.

Talking of running, the first day I decided to run, it was on a bit of a whim: I was down the beach, doing some beachcombing {as you do} and I had picked up a left-footed flip-flop.  I'll have to digress a moment {bet you didn't see that coming}  I have collected numerous flip-flops off the beach and the vast majority are lefties.....why is that?....Aha - my theory then. I reckon that if you are right handed - as the majority of people are - you grip better with your right hand.  So the same goes for feet eh?  The left footed flip-flop won't be gripped as hard and it floats off out into the blue briny with nary a wave goodbye.  So, off I went, a wee gentle jog, just becaue it was a lovely day and I could.  That was great, haven't run in years.  All was going well, so I broke into a lumbering run - flippin epic.  So enthused was I that I thought dune running would be just the best thing ever so a tout vitesse I ran onto the dune track.  Except it wasn't.  Some miserable bastard had moved the upright piece of driftwood that ought to mark the start of the track so I was running like a headless chicken up the side of the dune.  Meh.  Using all my Bear Grylls survival skills  I thought  just keep the sound of the sea on you right and you can't go wrong.  What utter bollox.  On getting home I checked Map my Walk and I had run in a complete circle in the dunes.  Not only that, on cresting a rise, I caught my foot in a clump of seagrass and desrcibed a cartwheel in the air as I fell down the hill. Landed in the splits and just about made myself into twins and hurt my back all in one fell swoop.  Aye and still clutching the left-footed flip-flop, staring up at the sky wondering what the hell happened there?  Then I had to walk 2k home - wasn't my finest hour.

I'm single and very content to be so, I enjoy being able to suit myself and spend my money on what I want and eating in bed and reading until 2 in the morning and drinking the milk out of the bottle and eating an entire family bar of chocolate to myself and all sorts of things that I didn't realise I had given away.  And if I want to sit in bed and pick toe jam out from the piggies, that's what I'll do. Yes, indeed, it suits very well. And I've come to realise I have an inner strangth and resilience I should be proud of, I can manage perfectly well on my own and relish my independence.

Oh, I've got so many stories to tell you,

Speak soon

anyway, as I was saying...

Posted on Wed 3 February 2010 at 07:59 - 2 Comments - Link

Wooo.... finally got my act together and completed my RN3 paperwork, handed it in in September and am now officially deemed 'PROFICIENT'.  Not only that, I have a little tin badge to prove it....  It actually means jack shit but i get paid slightly more now and it made me get my portfolio organised.  For all you non-nursing peeps, a registered nurse is obliged to have a ongoing portfolio covering all their recent training and how they keep their practice current.


I was offered the co-ordinators position which was very gratifying but after a lot of deliberation I finally turned it down.  By the time I knocked off the penal rates etc I would be getting paid $600 a year less and only have one weekend off in 6 with Phil as I would work mon - fri and he would still be on the 4on - 2off roster.  But at least they offered it to me, so it's all good.  Most of the time I really enjoy my work - apart from one colleague.  She is a passive-aggressive sour faced git but I guess every work place has one eh?


And summer finally seems to be here!  I'm looking as brown as my Maori collegues and just loving the heat.  We went to the bach on our last days off and took the kayaks out - it was simply glorious! 


The girl has gone back to school - I still struggle to get my head round having the Xmas holidays in summer!  She is noe at least half an inch taller than me and don't I hear about it...


The house is pretty much all done now.  The lounge was a sore trial though.  I papered it myself and where it goes down the 3 shallow steps it is nearly 3 metres high - by the time I had just about cut and stuck one end, the other end was drying out - a real pain in the arse job but it looks brilliant now.


And I have a glass garden.....  When we walk the dog down the beach, I usually collect all the bits of broken glass that wash up.  I like the way they are all smoothed off, years of rolling about in the sea does that I guess...Anyway, I had such a big collection that I lined a little bit of the garden that is neither use nor ornament for anything else and started chucking it all on there.  I quite like the ways it looks now, its like little glass pebbles.  Hhmmm, makes me wonder what people might think though - Hi, I'm Karen and I collect broken glass....Not something you tell people when you first meet them perhaps?

waxing philosophical

Posted on Sat 13 June 2009 at 12:22 - 0 Comments - Link

Hey peeps, long time no see!!

It just ocurred to me 5 minutes ago why I haven't blogged for so long -  I've been putting it off.  Let me tell you the story. 

A very dear friend of mine lost her father a few months ago.  I didn't really help her out at all as I simply didn't know how to deal with her pain.  I asked her if she minded if I blogged her father and she said that would be OK.  

So let me tell you the story of our friendship first.  I have known her ever since I can remember.  She was this wee skinny kid who lived on a farm.  I didn't even know she existed apart from the fact she used to be about at the riding school I used to frequent.   Her father worked on that estate and she was always under the horses hooves when I went for riding lessons (which incidentally, even as a kid of 11, I mamnaged to scrape together enough to pay for).  We went to the same school but as I was older than her, we simply never connected.  We went our separate ways but  fate has a funny way of throwing people back alongside.  Our partners had been friends for years and once I moved back from England, we fell in together.  I like to think we became friends then.  We have kids of the same age and we saw life in the same way.  I used to pack my kids in the car to go visit.  I even took my Snarfie and her whole brood of kittens up there one day.  We had bonded from the early days and even though we are now 20 + years down the line I count her as one of my very special friends.  I always used to take homemade lasagne for her and us when I went to visit and she would always feed the multitude of kids we had bewtwen us.  I count my friendship with her as incredibly special.  She is one of the very few people on this earth I would trust with my secrets and she has never ever let me down.  We have laughed and cried together.  We have danced ourselves silly to the refrain of "don't leave me this way' by the Communards, we have taken the piss totally about certain people we both know.  Next to my sister Shona, she is my best friend in in the whole wide, wide world.  I love and respect her hugely.  And I am so pleased she is my friend cos I love her to bits and respect what she has made of her life.

Her father died recently.  I would like to take this moment to pay my respects to her father.  He worked on a farm for most of his adult life.  I really only knew him as her father but he always struck me as a very upright man.  Of course he could curse and blind with the best of them but I always saw him as a man of his word  An earthy man.  A man of the earth as a farm worker.  No pretenses with him - he would tell it as he saw it and one can only credit him for that  He was a decent father who stood by her in times of trauma and he was the best grandfather this world could offer.  He put himself out considerably to fulfill that role and his grandchildren loved him deeply - as she and her husband did too. 

 I wish I had done this months ago - added my condolences and regret at his passing.  He was a lovely man, a good father and the best grandfather a kid could wish.  Brian - I wish you peace and I hope you are happy now in whatever afterlife there is because I believe you deserve it.  Happy Days Brian and I wish I had known you better.  God cherish  you wherever you are xxx

And you my love, I am so sorry I haven't been a better friend to you in your time of need.  I can only apologise and hope to be a better friend in times to come.

Love you Janie,

Karen x

twas nice

Posted on Tue 20 January 2009 at 07:12 - 5 Comments - Link

Ahhh twas nice indeed!

Mark and Darren came to visit from Scotland.  They arrived on Xmas Eve and left on the 11th of January.  I hadn't seen them for over 2 year and it was just so good to see them.  We picked them up from Wellington Airport about 2 hours after the girl came back from Hamilton.  Compared with last Christmas when I was completely on my own, it was worlds apart.  I had Phil, the girl, Mark and Darren with me.  And at the bells at Hogmanay, we put Shane's CD on the stereo and at least had him with us in one way.  The days passed so quickly, I now have little recollection of what we really did but there are certain parts that will never fade.  The highlight of my holiday had to be Mark sledging down the stairs in a motel in Rotorua on their ironing board.  Laugh - I was aching laughing and the girl has it captured on her phone for posterity.  The lads and Phil did the Bungee, the Flying Fox and the Swing at the gravity canyon.  The lads had started calling Phil the silver fox due to his white hair.  It was more than I could resist of course.  Once they had done the above, he became the flying silver fox!!  The lads looked like stick men on the DVD next to him.  On Xmas day we went round to Phil's sister's and had a barbeque.  The lads couldn't get their heads round having Xmas on a beautiful summer's day and eating barbeque fof dinner.  Unfortunately, neither of them actually listened to me telling them that they HAD to wear sunscreen.  The pair of them ended up like sodding barber's poles!!  Red and white all bloody over!!  Darren was worst - he managed to burn the tops of his feet and they ended up pretty sore.


Well, I think I said in my last entry that Phil and I seemed to be going from strength to strength.....we move into our own house at the end of the month!!  We are off to Raumati South which is about 20 - 25 minutes from here.  We will have to commute a bit further but on a nice day, the drive is lovely - right along the coast for quite a distance.  The house also has a one bedroomed flat so the girl has her eye on that as you might imagine.  We are at the point where the packing is started but nothing is finished but it all comes together by moving day so I will not be stressing about it.  I have moved house so many times that this really isn't a problem.

The house will certainly needs some cosmetic work but the structure itself is sound.  We can just about see kapiti island from the front windows and once we lop some of the trees at the front of the section, the view will improve dramatically.

Have to go - have some pressing phone calls to make.  I have loads more to add and may well to another entry later - see ya peeps xx


How long......?

Posted on Sun 7 December 2008 at 07:22 - 3 Comments - Link

Dearie me,

I hadn't realised how long it had been since I last blogged until Susan emailed me and said  I seemed to have dropped off the radar......   I honestly hadn't reckoned on it  being that long.


So peeps, here I am!!  Bronzed, fit, non-smoking me!!  Large (if not larger...) than life with no hidden preservatives  or additives.  Well, strike the fit and you have it!  Yeah, gave up the cigs after a year back on them... glad to have done it and wish I hadn't started a year ago.


Just been busy and happy and didn't notice time passing.  I'm really enjoying work.  Yes, there don't seem to be the systems in place that would keep you safe to the same degree as other more professionally run units I have worked in but for the first time in a year I feel like I am really nursing again and that what I do actually might make a difference to a patient's life on a long term basis.


Phil and I go from strength to strength.  I think if there is a fault it is that we are both Leo's....ahhh Lord - where do you go when we are both right ALL the time...xx


Poppy Kitty has had 3 black and white kittens, all now have potential homes and should be going the week before Christmas.  They are lovely but by hell, they are beginning to drive me insane.  It's bad enough when you own your own house but 3 kittens in a rented property is not good news.  I kept finding mini wees until I started dropping each kitty into the dirt tray every time I saw them.  Now at least they are going there of their own accord.  The insanity bit comes into play when I see them all at the top of the net curtains.  Or in the washing machine.  Or on the table.  Or in the TV cabinet.  I know they are just exploring their surroundings but dear me, I wish they would pack up and piss offf soon......and Poppy is getting 'done' ASAP...


WOOOOOO!!!!!!  BAD BOYS ARE COMING FOR CHRISTMAS!!  Mark and Darren should arrive on Xmas Eve and be here until the 11th of January.  I can't wait!!!


Phil took me on the 'Toy Run' today.  It's an annual Kiwi event, staged in several towns/cities across NZ in the run up to Xmas.  There must have been over 500 motorbikes, all pulled up in front of the local pub, all with teddies or toys strapped on somewhere.  We went from the Sandbar {c'mon Littletoe - you must have heard it all from your house!}, down to Petone and ended up in central Wellington.  At one point of the 'motorway' {dual-carriageway to us peeps in the know......}, there were 2 lanes of  motorbikes as far as the eye could see - and I would imagine that was about 1.5 kilometres at least.  it was a good feeling to be part of something so big and all for "charidee" - but by f**k, it was sodding roasting.  I was wearing a skimpy vest top under my biky jacket - which had the lining stripped out and I was cooking.  Remember I said that - there was actually a time I DID'T complain about the cold!~! 



Behold the lovely Shane!!  {for those who don't know him, he is on the left}.  He is Karen's Biggest Boy and she is very, very proud of him as you may well imagine. Well done lads, well done indeed.  You sound bloody brilliant and deserve to go far.


I have been um-ing and ah-ing about this one......and finally decided that if by telling you all how it has been for me and it helps one person out there make a decision, it may well be worth it.... so here goes.....

In May, I realised that I had to sort myself out.  That as a mental health health nurse I knew full well that I did indeed have depression.  And the time had come to confront that and actually do something about about it.  That's the worst of what I do for a living.  I KNEW I had depression. 

The classic signs?  

A change in one's sleeping pattern - either a lot more or a lot less. 

A change in one's eating patterns - again, either a lot more or a lot less.

Lack of enjoyment in things one used to find enjoyable. {anhedonia to be precise}

No range of emotions - everything is 'flat'

Lack of concentration

Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness

Life isn't worth living

 You feel like that?  Well, you have to do something about it, it's as simple as that.  I finally went to the doctor and TOLD him I had depression.  He agreed with me and offered me counselling, time off work and a prescription.  I foolishly said no to all of them.  My thinking was, 'now that I know what is wrong, I have it within myself to sort it out'.  No.  Life ain't like that.  In spite of just starting a new relationship which really renewed my faith in  myself and made me feel like I was actually worth something, I think I had gone too low for that to be enough to pick me up.  Months of not eating properly and subsisting on 2 hours sleep a night  had really messed with my head and my body's abilty to sort itself out.  It took until  June/July for me to really comprehend that I was struggling in the real world and I couldn't do it all myself.  I finally went back to see my GP and filled the prescription I had been given.  F**K ME!!  There began one of the worst periods of my life.  My body DID not agree with the anti-depressant I had been prescribed.  All I wanted was for the depression to fade somewhat into the background so that I could regain myself.     Nah......It didn't work like that at all...Possibly because of my erratic eating habits and poor, poor sleeping pattern, the small amount of anti-depressant my GP put me on really messed with my head.  For 3 days, I went to work basically happily stoned.  It was very odd.  Not bad, just odd.  But the 4th day was the belter.  I went in and by 10am felt stoned - the way it had gone for the last few days.  But by 11am, I felt paranoid, delusional and very, very unsafe.  Given that I work in Forensic, you can't afford to be feeling like.  So I got Phil to take me home.  I ended up being signed off for a fortnight ( this was when were moving house in August and over my birthday too).  The moral of this tale is:  even mental health nurses are prone to depression.  Take the help that is offered to you and don't feel like the end of the world has come just because you have to accept help.  To me - as a mental health nurse.....I felt like a patient.  I felt stigmatised.  I felt I had let myself down.  But then I {with the input of my most lovely and generous Kat from Hamilton} looked at the last 2 years.  I have undergone EMIGRATION.  That in itself is enough to stress anyone.  Then starting a new job in this country.  The stress of being being the breadwinner.  The stress of being a first time house owner.  The stress of the breakup of my marriage.  The stress of starting again - all my own doing incidentally - tring to find a new job, somewhere to live all over again.

Yeah, looking at it in those those terms:   I now allow myself to agree; yes, it WAS a bloody tough 2 years and I ought to cut myself some slack.  I AM allowed to be suffering from depression.  It doesn't mean that I want to kill myself:  far from it.  It just means that I haven't dealt with things over those 7 - 8 months as well as the Karen without depression would have.  I now feel I am the person I used to be and that I can move on again.  I  now feel I am in control of my life again.  So for those of you out there who are maybe thinking about approaching your GP with this in mind: please do it.  Please save yourself the grief that I put myself through. In spite of who we are and what we know about ourselves and the world, there is not one of us who can be immune to depression. 

Sooooo,,,, peeeeeeeps, please, please look after yourselves.  It doesn't need earth shaking, mind blowing 'stuff' to give you depression.  It can appear from nowhere and blight your life.  If reading this has made you think you may have it, please, please do something about it.  Not tomorow  - today xx

Luv ya - Karenie xx

New Job

Posted on Tue 7 October 2008 at 10:23 - 1 Comments - Link

I started on my new Unit yesterday  So that's 2 days in and it has been Ok so far. I can almost see my old Unit from there and Phil works directly across the road but in a different Unit although we have the same boss.

Reflections?  Same shit, different bucket.  Although they haven't done a restraint on this ward for 2 months, I am already gathering that there is little management support for the staff who actually work on the floor.So hey ho, buckle up and wait for the turbulence. 

But the staff who work there seem to be accepting of me and I already know several of them so feel I will fit in well.  One of the support staff has already told me that I need to stay so that's a really positive bit of feedback.  Spent most of the morning in prison with a patient awaiting a Parole Board hearing.  I shouldn't really have been there there seeing as I am on orientation but it made sense to me to volunteer to go for various reasons.  Like even though I only started yesterday, I was the only one who had a valid, current nursing Identification Badge.....


Shane sent me a link to his new video on YouTube.  I was so impressed.  That's my son on a real, live music video.  And they sound bloody fantastic.  I cried.  Not because he was fantastic - which he was.  No, more because I haven't seen him since March and this video was shot recently.  There he was on camera and it is far more recently than I saw him in the flesh.  I didn't know it was going to happen but as I watched it I felt my eyes welling up. 

Bloody fantastic Son!!   I am so proud of you xx

As soon as I have a link that the whole world can access,  I will post it on here so that everyone can admire No 1 son xx


Road Trip

Posted on Sun 5 October 2008 at 08:40 - 1 Comments - Link

as I typed the words 'road trip', the Chillis song just popped into my head and I had to put it on the stereo.  Bloody great song eh?

What a busy few days!


Did my last day at work on my old Unit on Tuesday.  They bought me some products from Lush and a really decent bottle of wine and did me an 'afternoon tea' as well.  I was really touched and will miss most of them loads.   Start my new job tomorrow but have been so busy I haven't stressed about it yet.


So we left here Tuesday evening and went up to the batch.  Phoned the girl from there as she had gone to Hamilton on the Friday evening following school.  She wasn't at all pleased to realise we had gone there without her.  But as we were heading for Auckland, it made sense to knock an hour off by going up there that night.  It was quite strange for me to be there without the girl and her mate and the dog. But it such a lovely, relaxed, laid back place to be that we enjoyed the respite of finishing work and really hitting the road the next day.


We left there just before 6am.  It was cold but the ride on the Ducati was just stunning.  As the sun started to come up the trees by the road were etched starkly in black against the skyline.  It made me grin from ear to ear.  Yet another of those 'I live here' moments. Something so simple about the country I have chosen to live in that just makes me really appreciate the life I lead now.   And as the day lightenened, I sat on the back of the bike and watched New Zealand unfurl in front of me.  Such a rich tapestry.  So beautiful.  So different from region to region.  So MINE!!  It's spring here and the shades of green in the countryside reflect that. The lush verdant colours of new growth. The beautiful spring shades that fill you with enthusiasm and a deep sense of a new beginning.  Bloody amazing and humbling.  And lambs....what's that about eh?   Everyone KNOWS that lambs appear at Easter....but not here.  It's so WRONG to see them skipping about in October!  But the strange thing is I saw potato picking going on as we bowled along....Right, we have potato picking in Britain in October, so that's OK - but how can you have lambs at the same time?  Beats me but that's the way it is.

And, before I forget.....we had panniers on the Ducati.  The size of a kiddies lunch box....'get your stuff in there honey' he said.  Right.  Pack enough clothes and shoes for 6 days in that.....OK, I an under-exaggerating if you like.   The actual size would be more like that of a large carrier bag that you might get from from a high class clothes shop.  You know what I mean.   Better than a bag from from the supermarket.  The kind of plastic bag that has handles.  But still not big.  And I wouldn't have minded but once we got to Auckland, he managed to break the key in the lock of my one.  Not his.  Mine.  I was left with what I stood up in and and a beach skirt that I put on over my running skins ( I wear them under my bike trousers). No nightshirt.  No toothbrush.  No face cream.  I threatened that if I didn't have a change of clothes the next morning I would be wearing his jeans with 6 inches cut of the legs. And I would wear his boxers one leg at a time.  Funny enough, we manged to get a new key cut the next morning....

Ended up in Auckland and stayed with Phil's cousin and his partner.  They were lovely and I think it was really good for Phil to catch up with some of his family and old mates.  But the whole point to this trip was a fact finding mission.  Phil would ideally have liked  to move back to Auckland.  I said do the research, show me the evidence and convince me this is the right move for me and the girl.  I wasn't overly sure it would have been the right move for us and actually being there and going to the Mason Clinic:


didn't convince me at all.  Yes, they have a 35% pay weighting but would it make up for the 30 minute commute and all the rest of it?  No, I think not.  I went, I saw, I took it all in but at the end of the day, I don't want to move to Auckland.  If I wanted to live there, I would have been there already.  I really tried to like it but it just isn't what I want and need for me or the girl.  Thankfully, for his own reasons, Phil decided it wasn't happening for him either. 


So we headed back down the country to visit  his ex-workmate Jason, his wife Heather and their 2 girls in Napier.  We toured Napier for abour 15 minutes looking for their house and finally pulled in to fuel up.  At that point I said to Phil...."Fuck Auckland.....I want to live here". In that quarter of an hour, I fell in love with Napier.  I liked Hamilton, I have liked living round here but I saw a small part of Napier and immediately felt an affinity for the place.  Even from the back of the bike, without stopping anywhere or having any real idea what the place was about, I KNEW I wanted to live there.  See for yourself.




I'm not entirely sure what it is about Napier that does it for me but from the moment we rode in there, I loved it.  Jason and Heather made us feel so welcome.  I know they knew Phil but they didn't know me. And that's a big ask when you are putting people up . I felt entirely at home in their home and they were the ultimate hosts.  Thank you so much for your generosity and hospitality.  I asked their permission before I mentioned them by name - so thank you people for that.  Your hospitality was greatly appreciated.  These are people who used to live in Auckland and went to Napier on holiday.  Kiwis incidentally. They loved it so much they decided they had to live there.  I know now how they felt.  Never has a place felt so right.  This is the way forward.  I went shopping with Heather so she could convince me to move there.  That worked alright!! I considered buying the girl a little ornamental cat. but knew I wouldn't have enough room to take it back.  Heather said ' the only way you will have room is if you swallow it!  Really glad I hadn't wanted the ring holder shaped like an elephant on the shelf next to it cos that may have caused major problems if I did indeed swalow it........Anyway, back to moving. This will be happening by the end of January. They don't have a forensic ward there - which is all I have done since qualifiying but I can go back to elderly care or look further afield.  The forensic field of nursing is pretty full on at times and I figure if you can do that then you can do anything.

Got back and my arse feels the size of Luxembourg.  A bit stiff round the old knees.  I sometimes forget I am actually 46....

Anyway, bedtime now, have spoke to my Shona and my Shane this evening.  Shona said that my last entry made her cry.  GOOD!! it means that one person in the world at least reads the monologue that I write!!

Happy days peeps!

See ya xx

the last few weeks

Posted on Sat 27 September 2008 at 09:41 - 0 Comments - Link

I decided about 3 - 4 weeks ago that I really didn't want to work where I was any longer. There are many issues but the most telling for me is working with the ID/LD patient group.  In the UK we would call them 'Learning Disability'.  Here in New Zealand they are know as 'Intellectual Disability'.    I am used to working with patients who will eventually get better and stand a chance of living fulfilling lives in the community.  These poor buggers are only ever going to live a half-life at best.  They are never going to get better.  There is no medication can can ever get rid of a learning or intellectual disabilty.  These patients are never going to get married.  Never going to have kids.  Never going to plan their foreign holidays.  Never going to do their tax returns.  Never going to go down the Pub and have a laugh with their mates.  Never, ever going to live a real life.  And I have found that very disheartening.  To the degree that I need to work somewhere else.  So that I can feel that what I do on a daily basis might in some, small way might make a difference.  I like to think that I am good at my job but when I find myself on the carpet, yet again restraining someone who can't see beyond the next five minutes, I think my career and what I have to give is wasted.

So!!  I'm outta here as of Wednesday!   I'm off to a Unit that is female Forensic admission with a few sub-acute males thrown in for good measure.  I know I did a good interview, so I will use that a bargaining tool.


The girl has gone to Hamilton for 9 days.  We are planning a big road trip on the Ducati - off to Auckland and various other places when she is away.


And Poppy kitty is most definitely pregnant.  Can't wait to see what she produces this time.  But this time round, we won't have to give them away right away.  This time we should have time to enjoy those kittens.  And give them the time and care that they deserve.  It was so sad that the first time she produced, I wasn't in the frame of mind mind to be able to devote myself to them - and her.  I hope I can make up for it this time round - because she is so lovely, she deserves it.


Went for my 2nd colonoscopy on Thursday.  This time they knocked me out completely.  Thank the Lord for small mercies eh?  And I have to go back to something I said in a previous entry.  Never mind they might put up big advertising billboards in the Mount Victoria Tunnel about my arse and the ongoings there.... My arse HAS becone the sodding Mount Victoria Tunnel!! 


I was beginning to wonder if they might not be shooting some kind of black comedy down there.  Dear me - what kind of film would that be eh?  Answers on a postcard please.........

 There have been so many bloody medics though it recently it may as well be a public sodding road.  However, it's all good - they didn't find anything untoward on their latest foray - so I'm in the clear colon-wise! 


And for my beautiful Shona.

My best friend in the whole wide world.  The person who knows most about me.  The person I can share my soul with.  The one person in this world who I can look to for unconditional love. My mate.  My friend.  My sister. I just love you so much it is easier to tell the world than it is to tell you. 

Your mates just don't don't realise what they have in you.  Because you never betray a secret.  Because you are always there for them.  Because you always give far, far more than you  ever get back. 


But I know what you have done for me.  You have always been there.  You have always stood by me.  You have always given me the confidence to make the right decision.  You have held me together when my world has been shaken.  You have been the voice of reason - and stupidity, it has to be said!  I have got on the phone to you and been crying - by the time I got off, I was crying laughing!.  I hold you so close even though we are half the world apart.  I just need you to know I love you so much that I would do anything for you - as you have always done for me.  Love you mate - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! xx

for my friend

Posted on Sat 13 September 2008 at 08:10 - 0 Comments - Link

I would like to dedicate this entry to my friend.  And to her family who are all all undergoing the same trauma.

A lovely woman who has very recently suffered a devastating turn of events.

Sweetheart, if I could take some of that pain away and bear it for you, I would.  If I could make it all go away, I would.  If I could do anything to make you and your family smile again, I would  But in this world, it just isn't possible.  But if it is of any comfort to you and yours, I cried when I heard your news.  I can't imagine what kind of comfort that would bring other than knowing I care deeply about you.   You have been there for me so many times, bearing me up when I have been really down, just being yourself and making me feel part of the real world again.  I can't even begin to imagine how deep your pain must be - I truly believe my own struggles over the past year pale into huge insignificance next to yours right now.  Your world has collapsed around you at the moment.  You must feel like there is no way forward.  The sheer weight of your sadness and belwilderment at the world must be crushing.  I truly grieve with you but my grief can only be a pale shadow of your own.  But you strike me as such a strong person that I feel you will find your way forward to some measure of acceptance and bear this overwhelming sadness with dignity and stoicism and find a path through it.  I believe your faith will be of help to you at this time.

I feel  that I have benefitted so much from your compassion, loyalty, friendship and support in the time I have known you that I need you to know that if you ever need me, I so hope I can return that grace and beneficence.  It was never a favour, it's just in your nature to reach out to people and give what you can.  You have that gift of touching people and making them feel better about themselves and the world in general

You have enriched my life simply by being my friend and I so want to stop your pain right now.  But I can't.  All I can do is tell you that I love you and care about how you feel.

Love you,

Karen xxx


what's new...

Posted on Fri 5 September 2008 at 09:19 - 2 Comments - Link

Told my immediate boss, unit manager and the CNS (Clinical Nurse Specialist) that I was fed up and needed a move.  Also spoke to Phil's boss prior to that and he assured me they have vacancies and as a Mental Health Nurse, I can move over there very easily.  Just had enough of here I work right now.  So today, I placed my application form, practice certificate and last year's CV in my prospective boss's hands and told him I expect to hear from him soon.  Fingers crosed that is the case!!


But apart from that, I wouldn't change much at all.  It's not often in life that you can sit back and truly appreciate what you have.  You tend to get so caught up in the daily stresses and the sheer grind of life that you forget to value what you have.   After the stresses of the last year I guess I now hold dear what I have:  my beautiful boys in Scotland;  my other family and cherished friends in Britain;  my star of a daughter;  my happiness and independence;  the BE forum and the friends I have gained from that (far too numerous to mention but their support and steadfastness has seen me through all my 'down time' and I honestly don't know how I would have made it without them); my fantastic Phil (who makes me so happy). He has helped me regain some feeling of self worth and self esteeem.


Also just heard back today that I have another colonoscopy appointment - this time with full anaesthetic.  DEAR ME!!  My colon is going to be so well photoghraphed that I expect to see it next time I head through Mount Victoria Tunnel on all the hoardings: Look; see this; this is Karen's intestinal tract!!   Want a closer look!!  So many people will have seen it that it may as well be public property!!

Right, my lovely man is in from work and I need to spend some time with him...

see ya!

the continuing saga of Karen's intestinal tract

Posted on Wed 27 August 2008 at 09:29 - 0 Comments - Link

Damn, shit, willy, bollocks, arse...

Well, been for the colonoscopy then...

Rolled up for the pre-asssessment clinic with the lovely Maz as my navigator.  Yes, I know it's only 25 k or so to Wellington Hospital but it might as well be in China if I have to navigate and drive as well.  What?  Look for road signs AND drive?  Are you mad?  And the sodding sat-nav doesn't always pick up the one-way systems so it is as much much use as a bloody chocolate teapot in downtown Wellington.  I found that out when I took the girl for an appointment.  I felt like a fly circling a big brown jobbie as I buzzed endlessy round the rough vicinity of the hospital. And flies always fly in straight lines - did you know that?  Well, watch carefully next time and that was what I was like - the goal kept eluding me.  I could see the sodding building in the distance but couldn't get on to the right road road.  Anyway, got there this time with no problem and went in for the appointment.  I thought they were going to ask loads of questions and then decide if I still needed it done.  Wrong.  They said come back next week!  Bastards!  They gave me three packets of 'bowel wash' and I had to down it the night before and the morning of.  I'll give them flaming bowel wash.....an extremely unpleasant preparation that I would like to ram right up their....enough of that though.  So Phil's mum took me down there and dropped me off on the day.  They really weren't that organised and had me in for the procedure before they realised they hadn't set up an IV line for the analgesia and sedation.  So they put that in, pumped it through and began.  "are you sleepy Karen?"  "no" - "well, we will start anyway".  Oh my Lord......"OK, we will give you double the amount and see if that does it".........Suffice to say, it didn't.  It hurt like a complete and utter bastard and I still have bruising on my stomach to prove it.  They couldn't complete the procedure as it was too painful.  But the sedation must have worked at some point as I have no recollection of coming home. I know Phil picked me up after work but we could have come via Auckland for all I remember.  So I have to go back at some point and have it done under a general anasthetic.  But they have confirmed I do have diverticulitis, so at least I now know what it is.  And really, that's something and nothing so I'm not too bothered.


My birthday has been and gone - emails from family and friends, some truly beautiful flowers from Shane and a rather nice silver bangle from Phil.  We went out for a lovely meal at a local Polish restaurant and I would thoroughly reccommend them.  Topor in Plimmerton - give them a try sometime!

And it was my little Daronious's birthday too, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY that boy!!


And we have moved!!  This house of course was filthy.  I wonder if I expect too much but I certainly didn't expect to be cleaning the owner's bogies and God knows what else off the toilet walls.  I have spent hours cleaning and was really pissed off at having to do so.  We were told that the carpets had been professionally cleaned.  Lord knows what profession they actually belong to but there is still a red pop stain that look like a map of New Zealand in the little lounge that defies all attempts at removal.  Anyway, the house itself is far better suited to our needs and now that I have unpacked and cleaned to my satisfaction, it ain't bad at all.


Getting rather f***ked off with work and am seriously looking at asking for a move.  I like the team I work with, I think we all work really well together but sometimes the lack of support from management leaves me pissed off.  Not to worry, that one will be sorted before too long.

Enough ranting from me - off you pop and do something constructive with your time.  Me?  I'm off for a beer!

See ya!

poorly me

Posted on Mon 4 August 2008 at 09:31 - 3 Comments - Link

Well, it's been a while eh?


I am just glad July is over and done with - not that August has had a particularly auspicious start either.

The morning of Thursday the 10th, I got up feeling really unwell - so unwell indeed I swiftly bypassed the ensuite and headed straight to the main bathroom.  There was no way I was going in there to errupt with an audience straight through the rather flimsy wall....

I felt so dizzy that I nearly fainted - saved by the bathroom wall that I smacked my forehead off as I just about fell over.  The pain steadied me a bit at least.  I proceeded to spend most of the morning galloping in and out of the bog.  There is no polite way of putting this: I ended up pooing pure blood and the stomach cramps were indescribably painful.  I was crying with the pain and I think I have a pretty high pain threshold.  Phil had gone out early on his motorbike and hadn't realised just how bad I was and thankfully the girl was in Hamilton.  Eventually I phoned him up but it took him an hour to get back from Levin.  He took me straight down to the local A & E and that's when it got really bad.  They took one look at the enormous bruise on my forehead that had ripened since the morning and I had been completely oblivious to of due to feeling so unwell and you could tell straight away that they thought he had done it.  Bear in mind I am 5ft 3 and he is 6ft 1....He got some filthy looks and I got several indirect questions about how it had happened.  They seemed more intrerested in the bruise than in my pain.  They gave me IM (injection) pain relief and something to stop the stomach cramps and sent me to Wellington Hospital.  I went throught their A & E with the same suspicious looks and ended up on a drip and IV painkillers for 4 days.  I reckon the bastards had the drip set far too high because by the time I got home home I looked like the bloody Michelin Man and had put on a stone...pretty difficult when you are 'nil by mouth' for 4 days eh?  They finally gave me  a sigmoidoscopy - and I can tell you - that sodding hurt.  I swear I was trying to spew the camera out and it wasn't even down my throat.  They thought it might be either diverticulitis (which they reckon I would be a bit young for) or an ulcer.  But having had an ulcer many years ago, it doesn't feel like an ulcer to me.  Thet never did pin it down but I have to go for a colonoscopy next week - and I ain't looking forward to that I can tell you.  Not to worry, after a week or so, the pain stopped and my body feels like it belongs to me again.  Several of my friends and colleagues texted me to say they would come and visit but I just felt too poorly to be able to do that.  But their concern for my welfare touched me deeply so thank you all for that.


On a brighter note, here we are on the bike....

It's a Ducati multistrada 1100S...apparently!!  Youn know me, I'm so not technical....I neither know nor care about anything mechanical.....

I love going out on the bike.  I've seen more of New Zealand from the back of that bike than I have in the whole time before I met Phil.  It's bloody marvellous!!  I guess it's one of the things I didn't realise was missing from my life until I got it back.  That's me, kitted out from head to foot and loving it.  Just waiting for summer so we can really get out and about.


And we move this Friday!!  We are only going to another house in Whitby but it will suit our needs better.  It has 4 bedrooms and two separate lounges and a double garage. This house simply isn't big enough for two adults, one teenager, one large dog and two cats.....

Unfortunately, Telecom tell me that we are with the Waitangarua exchange here and the new address is with the Whitby exchange so we can't take the phone number with us.  But for those of you who need to know, give me a phone or drop me an email and I will endeavour to give you the new address and land line number.


And best of all, the girl was awarded player of the day for the match last weekend!!  For a quine who never played until a month or so ago, she is doing so well!!  I picked her up from practice the other day and the coach told me she has really upped her game.  Well done that girl!!  And the trophy in glowing technicolour.........!!

And to my lovely, lovely Kat:  hope you are enjoying your holiday.  Kat gave me a huge amount of time and support in Hamilton when I really needed a friend.  Thank you so much for that Kat.  Just hope that I have been of some small help to you recently.


Posted on Wed 9 July 2008 at 10:01 - 2 Comments - Link

I'm just not able to be left in front of the log burner without attempting to immolate myself.  I don't know what it is:  one of my collegues has suggested I am a burn magnet and Phil says I am a self harmer; but apparently as soon as I so much as look at the log burner I seem to burn myself.  I know I'm careless but dear me, you have no idea how much damage I have done to my hands and foreams feeding the flames.   I have several burns, large and small strewn accross myself.  The worst one on when I was too lazy to move the drying washing and leant across to open the door.  Hell, Karen, didn't you recall you lit it 3 hours previously?  Didn't you think it might be hot..........errmmmmmm - NO, I didn't think and sutained a large burn to my left foream.....  I know, I know, no sense, no feeling - whatever.... 


But today at work, I think I may have christened the brand new all singing, all dancing stove they have just bought for the delectation of the patients and the dismay of myself.  I was making shepherd's pie for about 20+ people and managed to burn my pinkie putting one of the trays in the oven.  Damn me, it hurt like an absolute bastard but at least I didn't drop it.  It is so bad, it hasn't even blistered, just seared the skin to the degree I looked like a freeezer burnt piece of chicken.  Last time I cook at work...well at least until they get some decent oven gloves.


Still haven't found somewhere else to live but not for lack of trying.  Not to worry, something will turn up and that will be the next hurdle over with.


The girl has been playing netball for the school team and by all accounts seems to be doing really well.  The coach fronted up to me one day when I went to pick her up from practice and said she has really upped her game.  That's just so good to hear as Melissa seems to be taking it seriously and has put quite some time and effort into practicing.


We went to Phil's Mum's bach  at Waikawa Beach the other weekend.  For those who are not familiar with the term bach, it is a holiday home, generally by the beach but not necessarily so.  A very basic acomodation, usually quite small and spartan.  There are of course exceptions to this rule but that is usually the case.  Anyway, we took Beth as well and although the weather wasn't great, the girls spent most of their time out with the dog on the beach, playing in the dunes.  Come the evening, they were buggered.  So, when at about 6pm, Melissa asked me what the time was, I (as a completely throwaway remark), said it 10pm.  She asked Phil what the exact time was and without missing a beat, he said 9.45...........so the upshot of it all was the girls thought they stayed up until about 3am in the morning but in actual fact they went to bed about 11pm, thinking they had got one over on us.  They weren't best pleased the next day when we confessed.   But it was SO worth it!!


And talking of the girl: she has gone to Hamilton for part of the school holidays.  Scottie has been seen lurking in the vicinity and Poppy has taken up residence in my bedroom.  Which annoys me no end as I hate the drift of cat hair that then envelops my pillow and personal space.  But she is pretending to be be afraid of the dog which is complete bollocks as she strolled straight past him in the living room one night and he was so amazed by her audacity he forgot to try to chase her.  The dog seems to be missing the girl as she is his handmaiden and likes to walk, feed and generally attend to his every whim when she is here.


And it's fricking freezing here Mr Bigglesworth!!!  Damn me, I hate the way that houses here don't have central heating.  I hurt my shoulder about 6 weeks ago and finally had to go the the quack's yesterday.  Mostly because it was so sodding cold yesterday morning, it made my shoulder ache so badly I could barely get out of bed.  Now,  warm and blissfully out of it on various painkillers, it doesn't hurt that much at all - that coupled with the fact I have the next few days off.....and a couple of lagers inside me to boot....


Phil and I have finally told our colleagues we are seeing each other and as It is common practice here not to have couples working together, he starts work at a linked unit next week.  That will actually suit him far better as the lack of consistency on my unit really messes with his head.  So, onwards and upwards people - it's all good here!


Happy Karen

Posted on Wed 25 June 2008 at 10:48 - 3 Comments - Link

So happy at the moment!!


Life continues to be blissful.....


Well, apart from finally having to present my teaching session tomorrow but I have put it together properly and barring major disaster, it ought to go OK.


I have rediscovered my passion for motorbikes.  Phil has a big f**k off Ducati and seeing as I have just spent shitloads on new bike gear, I intend to get full use out of them.  I had forgotten the sheer thrill of being on the back of a motorbike with a seriously competent rider.   I still reckon he was trying to scare me the other day as we went over a pretty windy, twisty road.  He reckons not but it didn't work anyway.  Finding enjoyment in things you had forgotten about is so good - brings back your passion for living - and I now realise I wasn't in a good space for quite some time.  I guess I now have some validation that I am not completely useless and worthless.  And that is just so fulfilling.


The girl is now playing for the school netball team!!  Well done that girl!!


We are taking Beth and Melissa up to the batch over the weekend  - and as we only get one full weekend off in 6, I'm really looking forward to it.


OK, short but so 'saweet'!!  {that, to my ears is how Kiwis pronounce sweet!}

Where to start?

Posted on Fri 6 June 2008 at 10:13 - 3 Comments - Link

Apparently, by the emails I have received recently, I have been off the radar for a while.  To be honest, I have had such a lot going on that I haven’t thought to blog.

So, where to start?

My landlords and I have agreed to an amicable arrangement that if I can find somewhere else to live, they will pay my full removal costs and give me 2 weeks rent free.  So, the house that I now live in is on the market and I am looking for a house to rent in Papakowhai.  That is where the girl goes to school now and intends to go to school after Christmas.  So it makes sense to move there. 


My beautiful sister Shona has had a son:  Hamish McGregor Brown.  To Shona and Fraser:  I wish you all the joy in the world for your future parenthood; the sheer heart-melting, all transcending bliss that overtakes you when you gaze at your newborn child.  The contentment that comes with the fulfilment of your dreams.  The wonder of a future that contains the child you have created.  It’s just so all encompassing; it takes your breath away.  Until they grow up a bit and and get lifted fro breach of the peace: but that’s another story………eh Darren?


Work has been frantic at times.  I lost the rag the other day, IM’d a patient and finally, once he spat on me, we took him to the floor and restrained him there.  I had had enough that day.  Don’t push me when my patience has run out because, believe me, I will only take so much shite before I snap.  And today wasn’t good either.  Got pushed by a patient, who had every intention of attacking me.  I barked at him and sent him to de-esc in very short order.  The incident was contained and all I have to show for it is a small scratch down my forearm.   Enough of the pussyfooting about though.  When you first go to a new unit, you (well, me anyway) tend to adopt a low profile and figure out the dynamics.  Well, 6 months down the line, it is time to assert myself and I am not doing any more Mr Nice Guy.  I think both patients and staff have found me to be quite unassuming and reasonable.  Bugger it,  it’s time to show them the real Karen.


And finally, for me. The most important bit.

I have been quite reticent about this one. 

I have been seeing a rather nice Kiwi man for a few weeks now.  I felt I would rather keep it to myself until I had some idea where it was going.  But now I feel confident enough about this relationship to tell the world.  I swing between wild elation and sheer terror.  Contentment and fear of commitment.  It scares the hell out of me at times – what if this turns to ashes in my mouth as well?  Well, Hell mend it: how will I know if I don’t give it a try?   At the moment he makes me indescribably happy; who knows where it is going but it is so much what I want right now.  He makes me feel good about myself for the first time in a very long time.  He’s a typical reserved Kiwi bloke (and yes, that is a huge stereo-typical statement to make) and I think he finds it difficult to say what he feels.  But today, I got in from work and there was a brand new axe and a bunch of flowers waiting for me.  The wood I ordered for the log-burner is (a) too big to burn quickly and (b) rather wet and doesn’t burn that well anyway.  So, for me, the new axe was rather touching.   It is probably too big for me to wield effectively but I will make strenuous efforts in the face of adversity…..ha! The girl seems to like him, which is of huge importance to me.  The fact that he has a 15-month-old Alsatian pup has of course helped endear him greatly!! 

So that’s life at the moment…….it’s looking up in Karenland!!


Posted on Thu 15 May 2008 at 10:30 - 1 Comments - Link

I felt my first earthquake!!
    • Reference Number: 2902957
    • NZST: Sat, May 3 2008 3:12 am
    • Magnitude: 4.0
    • Depth: 30 km
    • Details: 10 km west of Porirua

Courtesy of:



It woke me with a helluva start.  You know that awful feeling when you wake up knowing whatever you are hearing is not right.  Initially I thought it was someone breaking in but almost immediately realised what it was.  There was a peculiar grinding noise which lasted a few seconds, died away, then came again for a few seconds.  I couldn’t be bothered getting up to see if anything had moved, just went straight back to sleep as I had to be up for work in the morning.  I couldn’t see anything out of place in the morning once I did get up either.  The funny thing is, Melissa didn’t even feel it as she was staying the night with a friend in Ascot Park, a few kilometres away. 


And we have had the first frost of the year.  It was 1.3 degrees the other morning and the car was frosted over.  Not a hugely heavy, thick frost but frost nevertheless.  This lead to another first:  the first wearing of my thermals!!  Bloody hell, I was cold all day at work.  I wore my big heavy suede parka for most of the day and still couldn’t get warm.  People think I am putting it on until I do the laying on of hands:  once these frozen mitts touch you, you KNOW it’s for real.  I guess I really ought to go to the quack’s and get it checked out but there is a history of poor circulation in my family, so I’m not going to worry about it. 


And with the real onset of winter, I have 2 quilts on the bed…..oh, no, that was weeks ago…!!  The electric blanket stays on low all night – but there again, I think there were only 2 nights over the summer that it wasn’t on.  I have been renamed ‘the Lizard’ at work…. As it takes me until about lunchtime to thaw out. 


And after 6 months of living here, I finally got round to finding an Indian takeaway.  I think it probably has to be my favourite takeaway, so it was nice to go and get one for a change.  They never taste the same as you would expect it to: like it did in Britain; but it was OK.  And there was enough for a lazy breakfast in bed the next morning – sheer indulgence!!


I really should be getting a move on with my professional portfolio.  I even gave up moderating the forum as it seemed to take up so much of my time.  As part of my portfolio, I have to do a teaching session.  I’m planning doing it on smoking cessation and brief interventions around that.  And how much, I hear you ask, have I achieved?………..Zero.  To be right, I have printed off some info on smoking cessation but I haven’t written a teaching plan yet.  But I am meant to be doing the session at the end of the month, so still have 2 weeks…….

Told you before:  procrastination is a fine art…….


And a final first:  going out with the girls from work tomorrow night.  We are off into Wellington and staying over in an hotel.  The girl has been invited to Beth’s overnight, so all is taken care of.  I’m really looking forward to it as I haven’t been ‘out out’ in ages.  With the nights drawing in so rapidly, I seem to have been living in my own little cyber world a bit recently, so I think this is just what I need to get me out a bit more.


Work continues to go well – a shitty shift today – but in general, I still enjoy it and value my colleagues {well, most of them, most of the time!!}


Ok, best get going, see ya!!

Happy Birthday Shane

Posted on Tue 29 April 2008 at 12:16 - 3 Comments - Link

In a better frame of mind than when I last posted on here.

Had a couple of things that were seriously messing with my head but I have sorted them out and life seems to be back on an even keel.


I had 4 cubic metres of firewood delivered this morning:  and only me and the girl to move it.  It started offf with me moving the recycling bins she was filling on the front grass:  it moved rapidly on to me doing it all on my own.  I basically moved it all on my own.  It's a working day here so I didn't cry for help.  Have you any idea how much firewood that is?  No:  well; I will tell you; sodding loads!!  My back aches, my knee hurts, my biceps seem to be exploding with the pain and I can hardly  type because my wrists and thumbs hurt so badly.  But it's all good because I did it myself and didn't need anyone to help me: INDEPENDENT or what!!


But those damned kitties!!

Poppy had a mouse in the lounge again tonight and the girl is pretty sure she took it in - and that's good because I don't even want to think about them living in the house and not paying their way!!

So she {Poppy} had it behind the biggest corner unit settee know to man.  we had to do the tilting thing again...............and it ran up the curtains!!  The girl managed to capture it in a fold of curtain as I ran for the bucket.  That may seem a strange response but I still remember living in my mother's house many years ago when she did that.  And it worked a treat.  Shook the curtain violently and the mouse fell into the bucket.  Keep it swirling and the mouse will not be able to jump out.  So the girl took the bucket outside her mate's house and let it go..........no problem, her mate is staying with us tonight!!


anyway, on to the main topic.

My eldest son Shane is 25 today and I have no doubt he won't thank me for this........

But he is the most wonderful young man.

I remember, just after he was born,  looking at that new born child.  Looking at him and seeing myself looking back at me.  Across his eyes, it was like looking at myself.  I can still remember  the sheer wonder and joy he brought me.  The beauty of creation and the sheer helplessness of the love that completely knocked me down.  I hold him so dearly - and my other 3 children of course.  But that first moment of seeing yourself,  there to start a new life and be something that I could never be - it has to be one of life's finest moments.

Shane sweetheart, you have accomplished so much and made me indescribably proud: I love you so much and I am so proud to be your mother.  Enjoy your birthday and all that life may hold for you

I love you!! 





Posted on Thu 24 April 2008 at 02:58 - 3 Comments - Link

The reality is:  life sucks eh?

It’s like sucking shit through a sweaty sock: it sucks big time and there is no end to it.

So I’m down here on my own and trying to live the life… But life has that fantastic way of setting you up and then bringing you down. I have tried so hard to enjoy life here.  I enjoy work, I have some damned good friends here but life still sucks, eh?

Tell me about it……..


I have had several calls and texts asking if I am OK.  Sorry people, didn't mean to frighten you.  Fed up with organising, done some long shifts recently, nearly got stabbed in the face with a biro by an irate patient. So, not suicidal in the slightest, just a bit fed up.  I love being here and can't imagine being anywhere else but I hate winter and we seem to have jumped over autumn and straight into winter here.

On the bright side, I had to go and buy some new jerseys - and I found the most beautiful black polo neck in a feathery type wool - and it's a size 8!! 

Of mice and mayhem

Posted on Tue 15 April 2008 at 10:17 - 0 Comments - Link

These sodding cats are driving me distraction.  The change in the weather may be enticing mice in or the cats are taking them in through the cat-flap.  Either way, I never want to see another mouse again!

One day last week, Poppy had a mouse in the hall.  It had been a long stressful day at work, the weather was shitty and I just wasn’t in a good mood.  Coupled with feeling a bit low for days prior to that, I couldn’t be bothered dealing with it so I just shut all the doors and left Poppy to it.  An hour later, I really needed to go to the bathroom, so poked my head out of the living room door.  No mouse to be seen, so I stepped right out into the hall.  And there it was – clinging for dear life to the doorframe above my head!  I did that Riverdance on speed thing that women do so well – all rapidly moving feet and no arm movements.  I’m not usually terrified of mice but it had been such a stressful day that it was more than I could deal with right then.  A mouse at ground level is one thing – but this one was taller than me and from that angle, I could see it’s nasty little toes scrabbling for purchase on the door frame.  I swear it looked at me with malice in mind.  I squeaked louder than a mischief of mice {ha! Had to look that one up!} and fairly moonwalked back up the hall away from it.  But then I was stuck against the front door.  So I went out the front door, ran round the back and in the back door and grabbed the broom.  The bloody head fell off the broom and onto my head as I advanced at a rapid inch per hour towards it.  This just wasn’t working.  The cat was trying to climb up my legs to reach it and I just about fell over her.  I finally managed to poke it with the brush and I’m sure it tried to run down the broom handle towards me!!!  The brush got thrown across the hall and the cat finally pounced on the little bastard.  I picked up the cat and slung her and the mouse out.  I didn’t sleep properly as I had visions of it falling on my head and kept waking up. 

Well the next night I had gone to bed and bugger me, it all kicked off in the kitchen again!!  This time both cats had a mouse under the washing machine.  I got up and shut the doors – surely 2 cats could see one little mouse off overnight…..WRONG!!!  I got up in the morning and it was under the settee!  Damn this open plan living!!    We had the settee balanced on it’s back feet so the mouse couldn’t hide and I ended up being late for work as I couldn’t leave until it was caught.  Poppy finally pinned it down and the girl picked it up by the tail.  I was hugely impressed – she can’t abide wasps or spiders but she can pick up a mouse!! {she was at school camp the night the first debacle occurred}.  She took it to the back door and threw it out – but she let go at the wrong point and it sailed into the tree in the garden.  I was so far past the point I cared by then!!

We had a tiny wee one on the back deck yesterday but that didn’t bother me as it wasn’t looking for lodgings!

Please, no more!!!!

The Show

Posted on Sun 13 April 2008 at 09:05 - 2 Comments - Link

Melissa competed in her very first show today.  It was at Battlehill and it was a jump-cross competition – some show jumps, some cross country.  Unfortunately, I had to go to work but maybe that was a good thing as I think she may have felt even more nervous if she thought I was watching her.  But I had every faith in her and my friends’ ability to look after her. 

Melissa didn’t think she did very well and initially she was quite disappointed.  But as Sharon pointed out, it was the pony’s first competition too and poor Tinkerbell was a bit overwhelmed with the event.  She had never been in amongst so many other ponies and in such a hectic atmosphere.  They had a couple of refusals and two fences down.  But I am incredibly impressed.  I will let the photos tell the story.


To me, these photos show a competent, confident rider.  I think she showed determination in finishing the course when she felt she wasn't doing well. 

Yet again, a huge thank you to Sharon and Katherine for giving her this opportunity.  It touches my heart that people can be so selfless and put themselves out for others.

That’s my girl and I love her to bits.  Well done Melissa and Tinkerbell.

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