February

This was never meant to be a “monthly posts only” blog, but it seems like that’s what’s happened. I know I say it in every post but I really am trying to do better,  and post regularly but it’s not happening. 

Maybe in March I’ll find a blog challenge to do, to encourage me to write more. Sometimes I just don’t want to write because life can feel monotonous and no one wants to read that! 

 

 

But anyway…here I am now. 

 

 

 

February has been…wait for it…BUSY!

I wonder if “busy” actually applies in my life,  or if it’s just the status quo for me and I shouldn’t expect it to be anything but.

 

 

 

I am enjoying it…but can’t say I’m not looking forward to having two and a half weeks off next month (25 days to go! )

 

 

Last weekend I went back to Plymouth for a flying visit. Jonathan and I left at 1 on Saturday afternoon (as I was babysitting on Friday night and Saturday morning) and it took 3 hours to travel 20 miles thanks to the weather and road closures. Frustration! 

 

So we got home late evening,  to mum’s new house,  and on Sunday we spent the day cleaning her old house. That’s the main reason I went down,  to help with moving stuff,  as mum has found it really difficult. This is just a temporary move as their house is unlivable due to lots of issues which the landlady won’t fix…but it was making mum and abigail ill so they’re staying in a friend’s rental house for now.  The only difficulty with that is it’s a furnished house,  and mum has her own furniture too! So I had to use my mad skillz in Tetris / tessellation and managed to make it look more like a home than a furniture shop.

 

 

We were meant to leave on Monday afternoon, but overnight on Sunday I came down with a stomach bug and had agonising tummy ache, felt really sick,  and had a fever too. So I wasn’t able to drive back and just napped all day, and poor Jonathan went back on the coach. 

 

On Tuesday I felt a bit better. Probably still not well enough to drive, but I needed to get back to work so I just had to grin and bear it really. Towards the end of the journey I was so fed up and frustrated and ready to be home! But when I got here I felt poorly and I missed my mum taking care of me! 

 

I’ve since come down with a cold,  but I don’t mind so long as I get all poorliness out of the way before I go on holiday next month. Last year I had a cold my first few days in the states and I hated not feeling well and missing out. 

 

Today I am going to our church’s new 3rd site (Canterbury North) which I am excited about as it’s new and quite different.  But I should really get out of bed, and washed and dressed, and have breakfast. Start the Day!

 

-x-

 

 

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I’m still here

Still here…but pretty exhausted.  It’s been a very long week and a half.  Work has gone insane again,  on top of everything with my sister,  so I have worked late twice this week. 

I’m not really sleeping…it takes a long time to get off to sleep and I wake up early…but I’m doing ok.

In other news,  my manager had a baby yesterday! A lovely little girl. And that has made me smile. 

-x-

 

Could I possibly be more tired?!

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Tired puppy has nothing on me

I am so unbelievably tired of this week…of this fortnight, actually. Now that I am feeling a bit better, I realise just how sick I was last week. I still have a stuffy nose and nasty cough which feels like it’s rattling my brain, and gets worse throughout the day (it’s like my lungs get tired of working or something lame like that) I also seem to be temporarily deaf in my right ear so I get worried that I am shouting at everyone because I can’t hear them.

The sad thing is, even with a three day Bank Holiday weekend (where I spent pretty much the whole of Saturday in bed, and did virtually nothing on Monday) I still feel completely wrecked. Like I could do with a couple of days’ extra sleep. I was hoping to have a restful weekend this weekend, and celebrate my birthday on Sunday with friends and peace and quiet, but I have to supervise a contact on Saturday afternoon, I am on-call after probably the most horrifically contentious and busy fortnight of my career so far, and I can’t have Monday off because I have another big paperwork deadline which has crept up on me due to the aforementioned business [and sickness – which I am sure is connected] of the past two weeks.

(I do have Friday booked off…apart from 3 hours or so in the middle of the day where I have a meeting…but Friday seems such a long way away)

Despite being so tired, last night I had an unbelievable case of insomnia which resulted in me getting up at 1am and watching Gilmore Girls on DVD until I felt vaguely sleepy. Which wasn’t until 3.30am.

And then…I woke up this morning and checked my phone…and saw it was 8.19am! I usually get up at 7!! Cue major panics, no bath, getting dressed in about 3 minutes, shoving my hair in a messy ponytail and grabbing a banana for lunch. I got from bed (asleep) to my colleague’s car in 6 minutes flat.

But why was my colleague was picking me up for work, I hear you ask?! Well, because…as if being sick, and overworked, and tired, was not enough –

Yesterday my gearstick broke, while I was driving on one of the busiest roundabouts in Canterbury, during rush hour!!!

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I just couldn’t believe it. Only a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and saying I was saving up to get my car serviced and sorted out – and I said that as long as it didn’t conk out in the meantime (because I have no money until the end of this month as a result of paying off my moving costs) everything would be fine. So what does my car go and do…?!

But do you know what? I am not freaking out. Actually, more to the point – I am CHOOSING not to freak out.

It would be so easy to curl up in a ball on my living room floor (or potentially in my bed which is cosier and slightly less like a psychotic break) and cry and moan and rant and demand to know why God hates me and why my life sucks and why things are so hard…and I’m not saying I didn’t nearly have a little weep about it all…but:

I am choosing to trust God; my God who loves me, and is in control, and only does good things in my life, and never gives me more than I can handle, and who doesn’t let me down – ever, and who provides everything I will ever need, and who protects me, and who knows exactly how this will all work out.

Did you know that one of the most frequent commands in the Bible is to “FEAR NOT” ?

There is no point in me worrying … because God has it all in hand. He has ME and my life in hand.

Matthew 6: 25 – 34 … Do Not Be Anxious

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow.”

 

It will all be ok…because God loves me and my hope is in Him.

-x-

One day I will learn…

I am ill.

And it is my own fault. Sort of.

I don’t know if I have blogged about this before, but my body has its own quirky way of getting me to slow down and take rest. It’s like I have an emergency “shut off” switch somewhere inside me – when I reach a limit and have been too busy for too long, my body says STOP! REST! By way of enforcing rest upon me…my immune system decides to go on holiday and let whatever germ of the week is floating around infiltrate my body and take me hostage

For the past four and a half months I’ve been working mainly on Form F assessments – the process by which people become foster carers. I have never done more than 1 Form F at a time – but since January I have been working with 5 prospective foster carers. Form Fs are intense pieces of work – you ask deeply personal questions about the applicants’ childhoods and life experiences and have to draw out any insights into how they will respond to challenging situations with vulnerable children.

On Wednesday last week I took three of my five applicants to Panel, where I was questioned about whether I thought they would be good foster carers. They were all approved…after 5 and a half hours of me being grilled!

Since then though, I’ve felt so weary and awful. I feel like over the past 4 1/2 months I have used more than my allocated energy supply, and I need to catch up again. I definitely had no enthusiasm at the end of last week, and yesterday I started feeling ill. Properly ill. Raging sore throat, hacking cough, thumping headache and trouble breathing type ill.

On top of which, today I probably had one of the worst and most horrific days of my career and I generally just want to curl up in bed and sleep for several days. Preferably through til Friday, so I can wake up and feel well and enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend?

Not an option though. Work calls. However, experience tells me that unless I do actually stop and rest, I will take ages to get better. I’ll have a lingering cough, repetitive headaches and just generally feel meh (technical term) for weeks, rather than days. Common sense says take a sick day – but I just can’t. There is too much to manage and if I were to be absent, things wouldn’t get done. It sounds big-headed but it’s true – in a small company, everyone is needed and valuable.

So, I have to persevere and just wait for the weekend. I have no plans…just to rest. I am unbelievably excited…in an understated, can’t breathe without coughing, can’t cough without hurting, type way.

-x-

An evening in

Today was my first real Saturday in my house. Last weekend my mum was here and the weekend before my army of friends was helping me to move in. I was a little worried I’d go stir crazy by myself but I’ve actually had a grand day.

Granted I did see one friend and his girls as I discovered I’m too short to change the battery in my smoke alarm and it was going off all through the night last night. But that was just a short visit.

For the rest of the day I entertained myself! I went to the gym (and in the process discovered there is no quick way to walk there) and the library (2 new books!) And after lunch went to aldi to get some groceries.

My friend Karen is coming to afternoon tea tomorrow so after my aldi trip I made a cake. After all that I planned on sitting down with a cuppa and watching Grease 2…

However…I then got a sewing urge. 4 hours later I have made 2 skirts. The first was a bit of a flop as I followed the measurements on the pattern I found on Pinterest which were WRONG! But the second I did without a pattern, just making it up as I went along and I have to say I’m chuffed with the result!

You can’t tell but the fabric is actually a bedsheet that I got on sale. I think it’s a pretty pattern. It has 2 darts at the front to give it shape, french seams (cos I learned how to do them after watching The Great British Sewing Bee) and a zip at the back.

Yay me!! Another few Saturday evenings like this and I’ll have a whole new wardrobe!

Hope your Saturday was lovely too
-x-

What I did today…

First off, I have to point out that it’s taken me near enough 8 hours to get my laptop to let me online. My security software crashed and I’ve been restarting/resetting/reinstalling for what feels like an age. Which has been irritating on a number of levels.

It’s sorted now though (so it seems) (so I hope)

Today was a good day. I feel like I accomplished a lot, which always makes me feel good. I spent the morning reading (and finished my final library book, so taking them back is a task for tomorrow) and took my time waking up. Today was technically my last ‘holiday’ day – seeing as it’s the weekend tomorrow and I may have to work Monday since I have to prepare reports for meetings next week. I wanted to enjoy being a lady of leisure for a few hours more.

Once I’d finished my book I got ready and headed to the gym, and really impressed myself! Not to brag (well, to brag a bit) I beat my own personal best on the treadmill AND on the bike, and when I did my weights (yes, I do weights) I was able to go more reps than I have before. I was so pleased with myself. I feel very healthy right now.

After that I went to four different homeware stores, in search of storage for my bathroom. I’m sick of it looking like this:
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I knew exactly what I wanted to get…but could I find it? Of course not. FOUR DIFFERENT STORES. Some of them had something that was along the lines of what I wanted, but at ridiculous prices. In the end, I surrendered my ideal and went with a different but equally pretty option:

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[I can’t get the pictures to rotate :(]

Of course, having bought new storage I then had to actually do some organising. Which also meant properly cleaning the bathroom. I like this kind of blitz-attack cleaning – getting everything out of the space, cleaning it and the putting things back (or chucking them out, as the case may be)

I like that (for now, at least) all my products have their own designated home and it all looks pristine.

Once I’d done bathroom, it seemed to naturally lead on to attacking my bedroom. It needed less work than the bathroom but I did lots of flitting around from place to place, putting things back where they belong and straightening it all up. I also did lots of the cleaning jobs I would usually pass over, like cleaning the skirting boards and dusting the tops of the bookcase/door frames. All boring, but necessary. I don’t like the idea of living in a cluttered/dirty/dusty/disorganised home. Not that my home (or any of the places I’ve lived) have really been like that, but disorganisation and clutter is so NOT me.

I would like lots of congratulations and praise for my spectacularly wonderful accomplishments today, please. Form an orderly queue to admire my cleaning prowess…

-x-

Oh lovely day

Today has been a good day 🙂

It felt like a good day from the minute I woke up, and it really hasn’t disappointed!

I had a little lie-in, then got up for church and for the first time in about two weeks I didn’t have mad panics trying to work out what to wear [I’m not usually that girl but recently none of my clothes have felt right and it takes a proper old drama and tizzy to find any outfit that I’m happy with] and just wore jeans and a top that I felt comfy in. I even felt like my hair looked good – it’s been difficult these past weeks because I’m trying to grow it longer for this but it’s at that awkward place where it doesn’t want to do anything and I end up shoving it in a ponytail or bun – Not so today, I left it down and felt good about it!

I read my Bible whilst eating my breakfast, and I’m at that bit in Numbers where the donkey talks so that’s always a treat! Makes me giggle to imagine it.

After breakfast it was off to church, where I chatted to some lovely folks whilst drinking tea out of my favourite green mug (I have a little contest with a guy from church to see who gets the green mug each week – this week he had left it for me! How sweet) It really is the best mug.

I was serving in creche for the 9am service, and it was the most chilled out time we’ve ever had – 9 little ones between 3 helpers, and the cutest little kiddos. Admittedly there was a LOT of snotty-nose wiping and at one point, one of the other ladies’ had to physically hold my child’s head so I could wipe the gunk off his face…but other than that, we played and we sang and we cuddled and it was just joyous!

Because of serving in the first service, and because I wasn’t at church last week, I decided to stay for the 11 am service to hear the preach. And yay, for getting to worship at both services. It was a great service, a guy called Geoff preached about how we can evangelise to people by just telling them our own testimonies. Very encouraging and I love his preaching style.

After church I meandered around the supermarket (forgetting one of the only things I actually needed, but coming home with a melon…just because) and went to a discount store to buy fairy lights for Thursday’s shopping evening…and then I came home and watched some of the OC whilst I had lunch.

Anyone else remember how good the first season of the OC was? I simply cannot believe that it was on about a decade ago! It makes me feel so grown-up [old] when I think that I was in my early teens when I watched it. But it was oh-so-good, and just hearing the theme tune makes you want to live in Californiaaaaaaaaa

So yeah, lunch and the OC – falling in love with Seth again, and wishing that silly Anna away because oh-my-gosh-he-is-just-meant-for-Summer-even-though-she-doesn’t-like-him-right-now-she-will-soon. Yay for the teenage romance drama!

And then, in the middle of the Ryan-Marissa angst, I had a sudden burst of Need-to-craft-itis and then proceeded to absolutely cover my living room with floor, pins, tape measures, ribbons, cardboard templates and all other kinds of haberdashery paraphenalia [with my Christmas songs in the background, of course] for about 5 hours and I made some very lovely stockings and tree decorations.

In the midst of my sewing I realised it was dinner-time so I put food in the oven…but then got so absorbed in the sewing that I completely forgot about my dinner and it was only when I looked up and the flat was basically a cloud that I realised it had been in there about an hour too long.

Whoops. Mishap of the day. It was all fine though, I opened all the windows and threw away the burned food and started over – making sure I kept an eye on it. Dinner Mark 2 was actually quite tasty!

Once I was done with the sewing and the flat looked as if a bomb made of fabric & ribbon had exploded…I had a tidy up! And watched some TV (Strictly results…I’m sad Victoria went, but she just isn’t as good as the rest of the celebs and it was her turn. I hope Louis goes next week)

And then, need-to-craft-itis hit me again. So I’ve spent the last two hours in my kitchen messing around with melted chocolate. Not gonna tell you what for (in case it doesn’t work out) but right now it all looks so good. And all this to a lovely soundtrack from Colbie Callait, Lady Antebellum, Agnes Obel and Madeline Peroux – courtesy of Spotify.

I’m just hoping all my crafty stuff sells on Thursday because otherwise I will have a bunch of stuff that I have no idea what to do with! But…that’s a worry for another day!

-x-