Evolution of an illness

Last Week
Monday: I woke up coughing and felt a little breathless. Thought nothing of it. Should have paid attention…

Tuesday: Felt absolutely fine but a little stressed out as Panel was scheduled for Wednesday –

Wednesday: Worked until 10.40pm, in an office with no heating, justifying my work for 5 and a half hours. Got home to no hot water, so went to bed cold and very tense

Thursday: Woke up coughing and had a headache. Felt like I’d done a boxercise class – but nope. Later in the day I bit the tip of my tongue so hard it bled for 20 minutes. Not really relevant – I’ve just never bitten my tongue that hard before and didn’t know you could actually do that

Friday: The tip of my tongue was so sore I couldn’t drink tea and it was a really sad day for me

Saturday: A chilled out day, sort of had a lie-in, went to the gym, saw some friends and watched TV. Felt like Saturdays were the most superbly glorious invention ever known.

Sunday: Woke up at 6 to serve at church for 7. Had a coughing fit on the way to my car, and completely spaced out and forgot where I had parked. Walked 500 yards up the wrong road and had to turn around like a numpty and then walk back to where I’d actually parked – 50 yards from my front door. Whilst at church, ran around like I was 3 people in one, feeling super-sonic and then had a chat with a guy who said he was intimidated by my efficiency. Pretty sure this was meant to be a bad thing?

This week
Monday: A very strange day at work where I had zero motivation, really craved chips from the chip shop, and couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to a) open the filing cabinet and b) load the stapler. After work, had eaten dinner and put jammies on by 6pm and throughout the evening felt my throat get scratchier and my head start thumping. Gave up and went to bed at 8.30pm but woke up at 11pm and 3am and felt like death

Tuesday: Possibly the worst day of my career, having to deal with a very serious child protection case. Had a raging sore throat – like tonsillitis, except my tonsils were removed 3 years ago. By the evening I was coughing like someone that smokes 40-a-day and had to go to bed by 9.30pm

Wednesday – cough had progressed to sounding like I was about to cough up a lung, yet still had to supervise a young person leaving a placement. Confronted with a barrage of abuse – it’s hard to respond to being called an “f-ing *itch” when you have next to no voice and can’t breathe without hacking up a lot of gunk. (Lovely, I know) Couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow, had a fever and felt like I was made of lead. Call to NHS Direct resulted in a trip to the Out of Hours GP at 10pm. Seriously…10pm! I definitely debated not going to the doctor because it meant staying in regular clothes for the whole evening, and also because it feels silly going to a doctor (based at a hospital) and saying “My throat hurts and I have a cough” – however, Doctor’s words when he looked at my throat: “oh yes, that’s very nasty”, when listening to my breathing: “well it’s not supposed to rattle quite like that”, and when he took my pulse: “I don’t like the look of that”. Quickly handed a prescription for a double dose of amoxicillin and filled with confidence…more like convinced I’m gonna die of pneumonia. Only managed to get to sleep by hugging a hot water bottle to my chest and woke up at 3am not entirely certain of where I was.

Thursday: Everyone at work said I needed to go home. Everyone I spoke to on the phone asked if I was alright and then suggested their own home remedies to fix me. I didn’t go home. I went to a meeting, because if I hadn’t, we would have looked bad. Workaholic? Yes. Coughed my way through the meeting and felt thoroughly elegant, trying to discreetly hide the yucky gunk in a hanky or a tissue. Asked repeatedly if I wanted more water – could tell they all wanted to spray disinfectant so they didn’t catch my lurgy. Coughed so much it hurt in my shoulders – do you know that feeling? It’s so not pleasant. Finished work after the meeting at 3.30pm and was in jammies by 5. Discovered Otrivine spray and managed to sleep for 8 hours straight for the first time in what felt like ages.

Friday: woke up feeling a bit like a human again, until I woke up and had a coughing fit resulting in throwing up a heck of a lot of green gunk. (Sorry if you’re squeamish, but you made it this far) Unsurprisingly, felt pretty shockingly awful when I got to work but the day improved when my colleague did a run to the chip shop and I got the chips I’d craved on Monday! Also had a saveloy for the first time ever…not an experience I’ll repeat. Made it through the day feeling that I must now, officially, be a grown up – having made it through a fairly hellish week of work despite my body attacking me

Let’s hope Saturday and Sunday are good days. I plan to lie on the sofa, or in bed, and watch One Tree Hill and Gilmore Girls on DVD. Monday is a Bank Holiday and I really want to go and see Gatsby…which shall be my reward if I actually manage to rest for 2 whole days and take my antibiotics at the right time (I keep forgetting).

Off to bed now…every night this week I’ve been in bed before the sun has gone down and tonight is no exception.

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Do you have a favourite “spot” to sit in? I remember fierce arguments with my siblings when I was younger if one of us dared to sit in a seat that someone else had vacated. I love it in the Big Bang Theory when someone sits in Sheldon’s seat…because it is so true to my life.

Wherever I go I like to have a “spot” to settle in. For example, at my house I like to sit in the right side corner of the sofa…at a family’s house that I babysit there is a red armchair that is the perfect size for me to curl up in.

Here, at David & Rachel’s in Salem, “my spot” is a green rocker chair. I love it. It’s the perfect size for curling up to read, snuggling with the kids/dog, and just generally chilling out. I feel cosy and peaceful sitting in this chair, even if I do look a little bit silly rocking myself back and forth!!

Where is your comfy spot?

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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!

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My ‘stay-cation’

This past week I have had the most blissfully peaceful ‘stay-cation’.

Stay-cation (also spelled stay-cation, stacation, or staykation) is a neologism for a period in which an individual or family stays and relaxes at home, possibly taking day trips to area attractions.    (thanks Wikipedia!)

I went to my Mum’s, in Devon, and had seven glorious days there. Possibly the best thing about it was that I was using up my TOIL, (“time off in lieu” of additional hours worked) so I feel like I really did earn the time off, and consequently it was justified to do absolutely nothing if that was how I felt.

Of course, most days I was up by eight and walking the dogs with Mum…but there was such a distinct lack of pressure or “must-do” attitude that I completely relaxed and now really don’t want to go back to work tomorrow!

Things I did:
– read four books, in completion, and started two more (including Stephen Fry’s “In America” which I love)
– made fabric flowers with Mum
– did lots of cooking with Mum (roast dinner, chicken pie, blueberry lemon drizzle cake and flapjack…for example)
– listened to the radio, and watched TV and movies
– took my two younger sisters (17 and 2 1/2) to the zoo for the day!   (photos to follow!)

Along with many dog walks (and cuddles) and probably close to a hundred cups of tea. I love tea at home.

It was just too lovely for words.

I definitely needed this time off. It’s not like I’m overworking myself…that much…but it has been pretty full-on since Christmas and as such I feel a little like life is just happening to me, passing me by, and that I’m not really involved in any significant way.

I think I needed a little perspective, and even though I didn’t consciously spend time praying (or reading my Bible…I have catch-up to do) I do feel closer to God as a result of taking work out of the equation, even for just a week.

It’s been nice, is what I’m trying to say!

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p.s. I also spent a LOT of time on Pinterest, and found far too many gorgeous things. But one of my favourites was this absolutely amazing treehouse, which I have decided is possibly my dream holiday home. For when I’m rich and therefore am able to spend lots of time making it as pretty on the inside as on the outside:

 

Fabric Flower Tutorial

I’ve fallen in love with this really simple way of making pretty flowers out of scraps of fabric.

It involves minimal sewing (basic running stitches only) and the whole flower takes less than an hour to complete. Perfect little task for when you’ve an hour to spare.

You only need:

6 rectangles of fabric…matching or contrasting, you can use anything. For this flower I used a pink fabric with multicoloured spots, but have also made one using two different florals, and another using 6 completely different fabrics. It really depends what you have available, and if you want to match/contrast to an item of clothing or something like that.

Anyway, six rectangles. They can be any size, as long as the short end is 1/2 the long end. (e.g. 3 inches x 6 inches) This is because the first step is to fold the rectangles and sew along one side, at right angles to the fold:

The next step is to cut a curve, from the bottom of the stitched seam, to the diagonally opposite corner on the fold. Like so…

A tip to make sure your curves are all the same is to cut one, then use it as a template for the others. They won’t be exactly identical, but they need to be as close to identical as possible so that there is uniformity in the petals.

Next turn your squares inside out, and ensure that where your seam meets the fold, there is a clean corner.

Here comes the fun, and only tricky bit. You need a strong thread for this – I use regular cotton but doubled over for extra hold. Tie a knot in the end of the threat, and sew a loose running stitch through the petals, ensuring that the start of one petal overlaps onto the end of the one previous.

I was so involved in this step that I didn’t get a photo, but the aim is to have all the petals along the thread. You want as few stitches as possible, so that the petals pleat easily when you pull the thread through and scrunch them down.

They should all just come together neatly in the centre, though on all mine I’ve done some oversewing on the back. On the front you don’t need to be so neat, since you can fix a button over the section where all the petals meet.

And there you have a 1 hour fabric flower. I’ve turned mine into hair accessories (sew on an elastic hair band, or fix a hair grip in place with a few stiches to make a slide in accessory) or corsages by fixing a length of ribbon to the back of the flower (ensuring the stitches are halfway through the length of the ribbon). You can also purchase brooch backs from craft stores/online, if you’re a brooch kind of person.

I think they’re really cute and they’re so simple, making use of the scraps which you keep for “that project one day”!

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Holiday!

I’m in the Cotswolds…so far we’ve taken about 200 photos between us and have had a ton of fun already. I love it. Time with my family like this is great…it’s been a few months since we were all together (and still not completely together cos my brother had to leave before I could get here) but it’s relaxed and fun and the weather is great too which helps.

I managed to get here with only the directions printed from the internet, since the cigarette charger socket thing in my car seems to have died and the battery on the satnav had run out. I’m very impressed with myself! I think it helped that I was at a wedding only about an hour from here on Saturday, so I vaguely recognised the turn offs etc. It felt quite annoying really; Thame (where I was) is off junction 7 of the M40, and the turnoff I needed was junction 8. But, it was worth going back to Canterbury on Saturday night – not that it was optional – because Sunday was the last Sunday of my Impact year.

It’s officially done…though I still need to hand back my keys. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet…it probably will over the next few days, or if not, when holiday is done. I think I’m still running on adrenaline at the moment!

I am going to try and upload some photos and video tomorrow…we have so many weird shots already that my memory card was full so I’ve transferred all my images onto the computer already.

I’m having a blast…and still 4 days to go here 🙂

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A wild Friday night…

I wanted to blog about this over the weekend, because it was very exciting for me – but, alas, my phone and laptop decided to gang up against me and refuse to let me upload any photos. And I need photos 🙂

My wild Friday night consisted of sorting all of this:

…into a new chest of drawers that the Harding family from church kindly gave me.

Such excitement for me!! My sewing stuff was already pretty well organised into boxes and tubs etc; but it’s just too many itty-bitty things. I like having things separated into their own little places, but when there was a chest of drawers available it just seemed perfect 🙂 And it will be much more manageable in the move, and in the new flat, to have everything (or as much as possible) stored in just one place.

Here’s what I did:

I have a whole drawer full of stuffing and padding! It’s a very bouncy, soft drawer 🙂

There’s also a drawer for fleece; because I don’t want to keep it in my wicker basket with all the other fabric – I use the fleece in the stuff I make for babies so it’s best to keep it separate from everything else as a lot of my fabric is second hand.

I also have drawers for:

>> general crafty stuff; wool, fabric paints, sequins and fiddly sparkly things, patchwork squares, wooden alphabet templates…just general mish-mash.

>> clothes patterns, my box of ribbons, my box of threads, the cardboard patterns I’ve used to make emblems…

>> finished products; my customised babygros which I am planning on loading onto my misi shop and/or gumtree etc to sell. I also have a stash of new, spare ones and some thoughts of new designs to try out when I’ve got the time and space again.

The whole re-shuffle took about two hours; I got quite sidetracked at points watching a programme I’d recorded from MTV – it was called “The New Virginity”…it was interesting!

I still have lots of my completed projects stored in boxes; again I need to load stuff onto misi! I’m going to look into buying another one of these:

…to store finished projects in, so that I can re-use the smaller boxes etc in other ways (i.e. for shoes!)

This storage box is completely stuffed full with all my big pieces of fabric…but it is quite a nice piece of furniture (does it count as furniture?!) so I don’t mind getting a second one to match. And I have space for it in my new bedroom, so it’s all good.

Oh! Update on the home-move; we move a day earlier than planned! 30th April, because of the Bank Holiday weekend! I’m very excited; God has been so faithful in meeting all our needs, we have everything we need except a fridge and are trusting that He will provide one of those too – we have looked on eBay and are keeping a close eye on freecycle and freegle… but we have everything else, which is amazing. We’re even getting things that were on our “would like” list (rather than our “desperately need or we can’t live” list) – like two DVD towers that I picked up this evening. AND, there’s a girl coming to look at my room in this house tomorrow so let’s pray she likes the room and goes for it 🙂

Less than two weeks to go!!

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