2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Catching up…

Well hello there. Long time no see. My fault I know, sorry!!

After I had the flu I had a lot of work to catch up with, and it took quite a while. I only had a week between feeling better and going home, which was lovely in many ways because even though I was better I still got tired quite easily so knowing that I had 10 days off was comforting. However, while I was sick I missed several meetings and lots of things happened with ‘my’ kids so it wasn’t the easy-going week that I would have liked.

But I made it! Hooray! We finished work a little early on Friday, to exchange Secret Santa gifts and have drinks/nibbles at the office, and then the girls and I moved on to a local pub. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about it, because yes we talk while we are at work but the conversation is still kept to a minimum (after all, we are there to work not chat…though we do that a fair amount) I was worried that we would not have much to talk about and would end up just awkwardly discussing work for an hour and then all slope of home. It wasn’t like that at all! In fact, I had to push back my evening plans with Rosie because we were having such a fun time. I’ve suggested we do it every few months because it was so nice to socialise with them, not talking about work.

After saying goodbye & Merry Christmas, I went to Rosie’s and had dinner (she had saved it for me, what a love) and chats until our voices were hoarse and I realised that I hadn’t actually packed everything I needed for my time at home!

I was quite impressed with the drive home…even though it was dismal and rainy, there wasn’t that much traffic and I made it in 5 1/2 hours (I drove slower because of the rain). I was expecting it to look like this:

Congested M25 Motorway at Junction 14, Greater London, England, United Kingdom. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.

And so I was home, for 6 days. It’s the shortest “Christmas holiday” that I’ve had, but on the whole it was nice. Christmas Day was really chilled – we slept in til about 9, then opened stocking presents (from “Santa”) and had breakfast – pain au chocolat and brioche, yum. I went to church and my mum put the turkey in, and when I got back I took over the cooking. It’s the second year I’ve done the dinner and it was so much fun. I honestly really enjoyed it. My mum’s best friend and her mum came to join us for lunch and the afternoon. We opened presents from Mum before lunch, and presents from each other after lunch but before dessert. Since lunch was epic, we didn’t actually eat dessert until 5pm! And then we had supper at 7, watched the Christmas soaps, Call the Midwife and Downton (which I just summarised for my friend Maddy and I still cannot believe the ending) and went to bed.

It was probably the most “grown-up” Christmas we have had (we never leave presents that late!!) but it was really nice. I have to say though, it did feel like Christmas ended quickly – like we only had the one day. I can’t really remember what we did on Boxing Day, but I don’t think it was anything extraordinary. It was chilled, and quiet, I guess. There was lots of rain – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-20830618

There are loads of floods in Devon and Cornwall right now, and the rain just keeps coming! I think we had one fully dry day, the rest of the time it was heavy showers, very windy and not really very nice. It’s hard to be joyful when it’s so dismal outside. When I was driving down, I got about 2 miles from our village and the country lanes all had little streams running down them…then I came to a dip in the road and the water was (not a word of a lie) 1.5 ft deep. There was a minibus in front of me and it drove through (stupidly) and the water was above the tyres. Not a chance, buster – I thought it was a stupid risk to take, especially after I had been so cautious on the motorways, so I turned around in the lane and went another way round, only to have two of the other lanes blocked due to flooding. In the end I had to go right back to the main roads and figure it out that way!

Fortunately Canterbury seems slightly drier than Devon – at least for now. I had to come back on the 28th because I took over On-Call on the morning of the 29th. I’ve had a few calls but nothing serious. I’m back to work on Wednesday, but have had a lovely few days so far and have lots of fun planned for New Years’ etc before Wednesday comes and I’m going to make the most of my first Canterbury New Year and hopefully will start 2013 on a high!


Sickie :(

This past week I’ve been off work with the flu. It’s only the second time I’ve ever had flu – the first being when I was ten and my whole family caught it at the same time. My mum says I had it the least severely, so maybe I’ve made up for it this week.

Today I feel 90% human, 10% flu. I mostly have leftover sniffles, a horrid rattly cough (hoping I don’t get a chest infection as an early Christmas gift) and not much energy for anything in particular.

I felt very tired on Monday, but it was my day off so I took it fairly easy…but when I was babysitting in the evening I got all headachey and I had a horrible sore throat. By the time I got to bed I felt a little like death warmed up, and I didn’t sleep well, so by the morning I knew I wasn’t completely healthy. 

I should have really listened to my body there and then, and taken a sick day, but I’m not very good at that. I went into work and spent the whole day feeling like my head was full of cotton wool. Everything ached and I kept sneezing. The two students in my office were poorly too and we were all rather pathetic about it, and I felt such a numpty for complaining about feeling ill over a little cold.

However – at 4.30am on Wednesday, having had little or no sleep and genuinely feeling like I might die, I checked my symptoms with the NHS and they confirmed that actually, I had the flu and therefore was completely justified in feeling 100% wretched and miserable. It didn’t really help all that much, because I still ached, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move and kept sneezing…but at least it meant I could stop fighting it and just accept that the next few days were a write off.

And they were. I’d already booked Wednesday off, but I called in sick for Thursday and Friday as well, and I’ve been a relatively well behaved patient. To be quite honest, I’ve not been able to do anything anyway – I’ve slept in, gone from bed to sofa and back again, taken paracetemol every four hours like clockwork and drunk what feels like my body weight in blackcurrant squash. I’ve also watched [read: dozed through] a lot of movies/TV thanks to LoveFilm instant. It’s been vaguely lonely but I doubt I’d have been any kind of company. Tasha was home on Thursday night and she put Despicable Me on, which normally I love, but I just couldn’t stay awake.

Being sick is horrible, mainly because I’m the kind of person who cannot just accept that I’m sick and need to rest. I feel really guilty, because this week I had 5 meetings and a contact to supervise and I’ve had to have my colleagues cover for me, and in the back of my mind I’m thinking that they’ve all managed to come into work when they’re poorly so I’m clearly just a big wimp. I’m trying to remember that I’ve had flu, not just a regular cold, but I don’t think people really appreciate how horrible it is, unless they’ve had it. I think ‘flu’ is over-used.

But I can’t do anything about the past week – I got the flu and needed to rest to get over it. If I’d perservered, it may have taken longer to get better. As it was, there is really no way I could have driven to work and done anything productive. I couldn’t even make myself a cup of tea, because it was too much effort. (Yes, three whole days without tea) I’m thankful that I feel almost better today, but I’m not going to go beserk and over-do it, because I don’t want to go backwards. Next week is the last work week before Christmas and I really need to be able to focus and get things done before I go home for a week. I can be sick there, if it’s gonna happen.

In the meantime, I am celebrating small accomplishments… for example; today I am wearing proper clothes for the first time in 3 days, and I haven’t had to take painkillers yet. Yay me!




Christmas is coming!

It’s finally December!!




This is my stall from Thursday’s Ladies’ Shopping Event at my church. I had such fun, even though it was an incredibly busy few hours for me. I only had two hours to dash from work to the event, and get all the decorating done before setting up my stall. It was made more manic by the fact that I had planned a really nice decor scheme, but the two Christmas trees that we normally use weren’t there… so I had to change things on the spot. As it was, I didn’t even get to see the overall effect because it took so long that I only had twenty minutes to set up my own stall before we started.

It was a really fun night and I sold lots of my crafty things. I got loads of compliments and was very pleased with it all.

But, as always happens with me – as soon as it was done and we had finished tidying everything away, I started to feel really ill…I went to bed with three hot water bottles as soon as I got home, and woke up feeling like death! Fortunately I had a late-ish start, as I had a meeting to attend, and my student was driving – but I still have no idea how I made it through the day. I went to bed at 7pm and watched movies in bed, then spent most of Saturday morning in bed too.

I felt better after lots of sleep, so when I got a text from a lady in my small group, inviting me to the local Panto, I said yes!


(You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s Sleeping Beauty. I have no idea why they don’t put the Princess on the picture!!)

I haven’t been to watch a Panto in goodness knows how many years – I think I was about 12? But, I used to be in Panto when I was a teenager. I was in a theatre company called Touchwood, and we did a Panto in the winter and then a summer show. Watching Sleeping Beauty made me realise how much I miss performing.

It was great fun, there were three families from my church who had booked together (one of the Dad’s got called into work unexpectedly, which is how I was invited) and it was so lovely to sit with the little kids and join in with all the audience participation bits. I loved it – shouting and making faces and singing along! Panto makes you a kid again 🙂

The rest of the weekend, I have taken it fairly easy – I’ve done a big Christmas present order online and have planned all sorts of fun. I’m minor-league grumpy with my brother because he’s decided that he’s not coming home at all for Christmas, which I think is a bit rude and selfish, but there you go.

Something that’s cheered me up, though: