When work makes me sad…

After STUPIDLY telling a friend that work was so quiet and settled it was almost boring, today was a day which proved you should learn to enjoy the quiet because when it goes wrong, it all goes wrong at once.

I can’t write about it, because of safeguarding and confidentiality (see, I am a professional) which is actually hard because I feel I need to rant about the state of the world and the awfully hopeless situations my kids are in and just generally lament a bit. Fortunately Rosie is coming home in a few hours and I can rant about it to her so instead what I’m doing now is finding silly clips on YouTube to make me laugh a bit.

For example:

http://ahref=

1 week update

6 days into 2012 and I’m feeling quite chipper today. Yesterday I was tired and a little bleugh as I felt quite drained after 2 days of work, but today was a Good Day and I am on top of it 🙂 Yay!

Goal update: haven’t managed to cut out chocolate, as Mum bought me a huge tube of Minstrels for my journey, and then yesterday I really wanted a McFlurry and they only come in chocolate so I just had to have one.

Best thing is, I don’t have to be legalistic about this and I really enjoy that feeling. Goals are goals, it’s not a set rule. One thing I am finding is that I am spurring myself on more. For example, this evening I needed to go to Morrisons to get petrol, as I was on the red light and have work again tomorrow. I felt like I couldn’t be bothered and said to myself that I’d go tomorrow before work.

But where’s the sense in that?! I was already in the car, Morrisons isn’t too much of a detour and going there before work tomorrow means I’d sacrifice some time in the morning – time I could spend with God.

So I went to Morrisons, and tomorrow morning before work I’m going to chill out with my Heavenly Father and listen to some worship music. I don’t need to be in work til 10, so will have plenty of time in the morning as Rosie will have a lie-in.

Another example is last night when I really “couldn’t be bothered” to make my lunch for today. I knew I needed to do it, because I wouldn’t have time in the morning (which is always the case, and in the past is the reason why I have skipped lunch) – but “not being bothered” is just not a good enough reason. So I did it, and I had lunch for today and then didn’t snack on rubbish and generally have a good feeling at the moment.

I am liking 2012 so far

-x-

Goals for 2012

As it’s the first day of a brand new year, I feel provoked to consider what God has in store for me in 2012, and the things that I hope to do for His glory…

Spiritual

1) Finish reading The Bible – I’m four months into the Bible In A Year, and hope to continue with this, finishing in September

2) Seek God daily – I want to set time aside to pray to my Father and listen to His voice

3) Focus on my Father – rather than getting sidetracked by what others have and are doing, I hope to set my mind on things above and trust God’s plan for me

4) Consider my serving roles – I want to specifically consider how I serve my church and whether what I do is glorifying to God. I think this is something that everyone should do with some kind of regularity, as it is easy to get stuck into a “rut” of doing things just because you always have, rather than because that is the thing God wants for you. I want to devote some real time to pursuing God in this and may need to make some changes in how I serve, in line with what God instructs

5) Be a devoted Discipler – I have the privilege of being discipler to three amazing young women of God and I want to honour them with my time, words and love over the next year.

Career

1) Honour my employer – I am blessed to have a secure job in a fraught work environment, I want to honour my employer and be the best employee that I can be

2) Train and improve my skills – I want to seek training opportunities and make the most of them!

3) Study more – I intend to keep more up-to-date with social work research and articles and pay more attention to what the Government is doing

Health

In 2011 I faced lots of health challenges which I didn’t really deal with in a Godly way; I plan to change that! I am still facing these challenges but rather than bury my head in the sand I will first trust God and so allow Him to lead me through these experiences. I believe that health is something that encompasses your body, your mind and your Spirit – I hope to maintain a balance of these three and truly take care of myself, staying right with God and honouring the gift of life that He has given me. My health goals are:

1) Exercise regularly – I want to get back into a routine of good exercise. I’m using a workout designed by http://www.swimplan.com which structures your swim to allow you to see your improvement

2) Eat well – no more skipping meals, or managing on biscuits for lunch whilst I am at work. I plan to eat three meals a day, with planned snacks. I also want to cut down on the “junky” food and try to prepare more meals from “scratch”

3) No more weigh-ins. Without going into detail, this is a particularly big deal for me. I’m not going to trash my scales completely, but I am going to remove them from my bathroom and store them elsewhere so that I’m not tempted daily.

4) No more chocolate – I really like chocolate but I have noticed that I can get headaches after eating it – this is because there is a significant level of caffeine in most types chocolate. I can’t handle caffeine, so have been a decaf only girl for over 2 years, but this year I’ll take it a step further and reduce my chocolate intake completely.

Personal

1) Journal regularly  – at least once a week I hope to record events, hopes, prayers, dreams so that I can look back on these and see God at work

2) Read more Christian books – I have a bookshelf full of recommended reading which is sadly neglected, so I aim to read one Christian book for every two non-Christian books.

3) Read 50 books – I am keeping up with this goal on goodreads.com

4) Invest in relationships – Many of my close friends live away from me, I want to ensure that I continue to invest in these relationships, by visiting, writing letters and calling on the phone

5) Facebook fast – beginning on 2nd January I will be changing my Facebook password and spending a month away from “the social network”, instead focussing on real-time relationships

6) Organise my spending, and save – this is pretty simple, I aim to save more than I spend and pay off debts as soon as possible.

And so those are my goals for 2012 – I’ll be writing them in my journal and considering my progress regularly. I’ll also be asking friends to help keep me accountable to these goals, and hope to post regularly about my progress, challenges and thoughts over the next year.

-x-

A really long week

I haven’t posted this week as it’s been a really tough one. I’ve been on call, which means I’ve driven around 400 miles for work (all over East Sussex, Surrey and Kent!) and had to pick up a wayward charge from 2 separate police stations on two consecutive nights which was a real joy since I’ve only ever been in a police station once in my entire life and that was just to report an accident.

Safe to say that wasn’t the highlight of my week! 2 very late nights and not enough sleep when I finally did get to bed (I wish my mind could just forget about work but unfortunately I don’t seem to be wired with an off switch) and then yesterday completely topped it off as every single phone call I took was someone wanting to yell at me…literally.

I took 13 phone calls throughout the day (I have to record who I speak to, and what about, so this is an accurate figure) and every.single.one of them was from a grumpy/dissatisfied/upset/annoyed person who felt it necessary to raise their voice over the accepted level to get across their point.

My favourite one was from someone whose language left a considerable amount to be desired and let me tell you the insults she threw at me would have been hilarious if they weren’t so vulgar 😦

It was a bad day which just didn’t get better, although there was a good half-hour when I realised that I am probably going to win the award for Best Sister Ever as I found the perfect Christmas present for one of my sisters.

Other than that, it sucked. The day was topped off by a phone call at 11.30pm (at which point I’d been asleep for about 90 minutes) telling me that one of young people had been reported missing. Thus followed an hour of finding Social Services numbers and reporting this to the necessary people, chased up by another hour where I waited for the Duty Social Worker to call me back. I gave up at 2.30am and went to sleep only to wake up about 4 times throughout the night, completly paranoid about missing THE phone call.

Needless to say I’m tired.

Today is Rosie’s birthday though, and we had a lovely morning. I got up and decorated the house with balloons and put out her presents etc (and freaked Ro out by playing Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday when she walked into the lounge) and we had pancakes for breakfast. That made me happy. I got Ro two of the QI books, which made her laugh. She’s going to put them in her bathroom, because everyone needs something to read in there. 😛

I’ve already had two Out of Hours calls today but I’m praying it will be a quiet afternoon and evening so I can celebrate with Rosie tonight. Ro has now gone out to lunch at her parents’ house, so I am using the time to make her birthday cake. It’s going to be soooo pretty :)I’m also listening to my worship album on Spotify, which is reminding me that I have the perfect Saviour who knows exactly how tired I am and what I need.

Last week may have sucked, but this is a new week and it is full of grace and God’s mercy for me and those around me. I love that.

-x-

Catch up…

Seems I took a little blogging break for a while. Apologies. In my defense, I was a poorly little chicken and whilst I’m sure hearing about all my ills would have been greatly entertaining for some, the thought of spending more than 5 minutes at a time staring at a bright computer screen was enough to send me back to bed!

I’m almost better now, though. I don’t really know what happened, or how a simple cold for any normal person ends up knocking me out for over a week but oh well.

What have I been up to, I hear you ask?! Not a great deal, to be truthful. Mostly work, and being ill!

It was Jessica’s 2nd birthday last Thursday, so I had a few days leave booked so I could go home for the party. Conveniently that coincided with my most poorly time, so I was able to be at home with my lovely mum who makes me cups of tea (which I’d always forget to drink) and gets up in the night when she hears me coughing to give me medicine 🙂 What a dear.

Jessica can say my name now, which fills me with a ridiculous amount of joy! She was very cute at her party and I took her out for the morning the day after (we went for lunch with Abigail and it was lots of fun) She had lots of presents but was more interested in the balloons!!

 

 

I came back home on Tuesday and was back at work on Wednesday, and so other than working I honestly haven’t done a great deal. Two of the girls I disciple came round for dinner on Friday night and we had a good catch up and some prayer and generally a lovely time.

Then yesterday, Nancie (one of the girls) and I went to the Marlowe Theatre to see Cirque Eloize which is a troupe of French circus type artists. They were amazing, but also a little bit weird in placed – one act was “hand to hand” where a guy and girl did loads of acrobatics stuff together and some of it was oddly sexual and Nancie and I thought it was just a little bit too much, and then there was a scarily flexible girl who did contortions and that was a bit gross really. She kind of delighted in getting the crowd to go “eugh” when she dislocated herself. She did do the fun twirly aero-acrobatics on the ribbons though, that was cool.

The best bit was when a group of them did the “trampo-wall” which was basically throwing themselves off the set wall and bouncing on a trampoline then flinging themselves up to stand/sit/lie on the wall again. It was a good show overally but next time I go to the Marlowe I shall get different seats as we couldn’t see the whole stage.

Yesterday turned out to be full of culture as Rosie and I and her dad went to see the Soweto Gospel Choir in the evening, though that was a lit of a letdown because although it was an amazing sound, the concert was in the Cathedral so literally only the first 10 rows could see anything! Everyone came out looking as miserable as they’d gone in and complaining that there’s no point going to see a Gospel Choir when you can’t see how joyful they are. Which is totally true.

It’s been a nice weekend really. I loved being at church again, though I managed to go to two services and not sit in for either preach (creche on the first service and chatting with a friend through the second). I’ll listen to it online tomorrow, I have quite a few to catch up on so I’m going to have a peaceful day at home (in between my physio session and attempting to give blood) and listen to them all.

Tonight I’m out to the pub for a few hours, then home to watch Downton Abbey 🙂

Today is one of those days when I really like my life

-x-

 

My wild Friday night

It’s been a long week…

What with being at home this weekend I didn’t get my proper day off – it was spent walking the dog, drinking tea with my mum, playing with Jessica at a soft play centre and driving 265 miles back to Canterbury!

And then I’ve worked a lot of hours, and driven many miles (almost 600 work miles in the last month) and today I had to go to Bromley for a meeting (first ‘proper’ social work meeting of that kind, it wasn’t a bad experience) – but all that considered, I am a sleepy girl.

Hence, my wild Friday night has consisted of watching Emmerdale and Coronation Street, taking a nice looooong shower and doing a home french manicure. I have pretty nails again (I get a bit nibbly sometimes but thanks to the wonders of white polish I now have beautiful tips).

Now it is 9.30pm, and I am snuggled up on my bed watching the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy and trying to decide if I’m going to be quitting Facebook.

But that’s another blog post…

-x-

As from today, I shall be Miss Productive…

Since having Mondays off (for the first time in, I think, forever) I have realised that I actually squander these days unnecessarily. Most likely it’s because I am not used to this level of freedom – there has always been something to do, or somewhere to go, so when

MOMENTARY HIATUS IN TYPING…DUE TO THE GIGANTIC SPIDER WHICH JUST RAN ACROSS THE LIVING ROOM!

I tried to throw the tv doofah at it, but it jumped (LITERALLY JUMPED) and ran away. Rosie isn’t here to save me, so now I am sitting tensely on the sofa convinced that the killer arachnid is going to climb up the back of the sofa and freak the heck out of me. Eek.

…As I was saying: when I started having Mondays off I ended up just wasting them because I didn’t need to do anything. This then left me really lethargic at the end of the day and feeling like I needed to do something energetic because I had just bummed around for the day. Monday before last I actually went for a real life RUN because I had so much energy I needed to get rid of!!

Which brings me to the point:

As from today, I will be productive with my day off. Not in a “get chores done” type way – cleaning and laundry etc will be reserved for Saturdays, like normal. But Mondays will be my day for spending time with people who I don’t always get to see, reading (and not restricting myself to a chapter here or there, but however much I would like to read), exercise, and generally getting things done.

Today I:

read day 12 of the Bible in a Year (in this installment, Jacob and Esau were born and foolish Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of stew, whilst Jesus told us not to worry because we are more cared for than the sparrows, and also we were encouraged to value Wisdom)

– went swimming (and paid £4.00 for the privilege! However, I calculated that this is 20p per lap, which doesn’t feel that much and just means I need to do more laps next week to make it cheaper)

– met up with the lovely Laura Cross and had a superbly long chat about all things Impact, as she’s just started her year with City

– went to the Library, and got some new books to read

– read half of the first book!

– made biscuit dough

– went to pick up the delightful Strandvik girls from school, brought them home to mine to make biscuits and watch Disney Sing-along Songs, then..

– went to pick up the youngest delightful Strandvik girlie from Nursery and took all three of them home to have supper and play hairdressers. I was the model and had the most attractive new style when Gustav, their dad, came home. I helped do bathtime for the girls, then came home for my dinner

– right now I am watching Corrie (having already watched Emmerdale) while my butternut squash and parsnip chips are cooking. (Part of my healthier lunch plan – healthier in that I plan to actually take lunch to work)

All in all, a fabulous day, I think.

-x-

One day, Tuesday, Wednesday…weekend yet?

So, I feel like I’m ready for the weekend already – I had to work on Monday because we had a few emergency things in Hastings that I had to deal with, so I’ve already done three days and I feel like tomorrow should be Friday so that Friday can be Saturday so that I can sleep.

I want sleep. Sleeeeeeep. Today I went to EMP, which was brilliant, and then I had a slightly later start at work this morning so I was able to go to the breakfast at Wetherspoons, but then when I got into work I was faced with a to-do list that had 16 points on it, and went almost straight into a meeting and came out of said meeting with another 5 to-do points.

How many of my points did I complete today?

Three

Not great, really, but I’m not going to worry about it, I’ll just get a better start on it tomorrow. It’s not like I did nothing all day, just things kept cropping up that needed urgent attention. My to-do list is mostly typing: I’ve got about seven meeting reports (total of about 13 hours worth) to type up. I can get that done whenever, really, but I like to be up-to-date with everything so I can just pull it out when someone mentions a decision or a query.

Anyway.

It’s been a while since I blogged, so what have I done recently:

– went to the cinema twice, saw the First Grader, and Sarah’s Key. Both made me cry, I’ve read the book of Sarah’s Key and that made me cry, it’s a really harrowing book, and the film was more horrific. It was accurate to the book, apart from one bit which didn’t change the story. I’m actually glad they changed it.

– had a fun worship night with some girl friends, with dinner and singing and prayer – it was awesome

– tidied my rooooooom!

– made lots of plans for fun things in the next month or so!

– RSVP’d to my best friend’s wedding and hen weekend

– wrote and sent a lot of letters, catching up with lots of friends

– looked into which gym to join

– looked into which counselling course I might like to do, but they are all super expensive and I don’t think I’d be able to fund it myself…work may support me in part but lots of the proper qualifications are full-time college courses. Grr.

– made chocolate orange muffins, which were incredibly delicious

– went to a dinner party, for my cell leader Simon’s birthday – 12 of us around a makeshift table, having a lot of laughs and some great food. The table was literally home-made, Faith had got a big sheet of MDF of something, and some legs, and put some beakers on top of stools to make sure that the tabletop didn’t droop (really!!!) and it was a lovely evening getting to chat with everyone and catch up on everyone’s summer.

– caught up with my discipler, and had a sweet evening sat talking on the sofa with her, sewing the hems on her three boys’ school trousers whilst she finished the ironing.

– caught up with my best friend, who has moved back to Bedford before her wedding, I haven’t seen her in a while so it was nice to catch up on her news and wedding plans and things.

– frustrated Rosie a lot because my laptop has decided that it’s not speaking to our internet router, so that I’m having to borrow hers if I want to do anything…

… including this, and now I need to give it back so I’m gonna end here…and post an update on my first non-serving, non-Impact Sunday at church later!

-x-

And I’m sure I’ve done an awful lot more than that.

 

Bank Holiday Weekend

It’s the last Bank Holiday Weekend of the year…except for me it’s now just like any regular weekend, since I no longer work Mondays (whoop!!!!). Actually, saying that, it isn’t like any regular weekend…I am “on-call” for work this week, which usually runs from end of office hours on Monday (i.e 5pm Monday) to the beginning of office hours the following Monday (9am). However, due to the Bank Holiday, the office will be shut so any emergencies etc will be reported to me. So in essence, being on-call the week of a Bank Holiday means I am in effect, working whilst the majority of others are not…I feel this is an error.

Oh well. Here’s hoping that the kiddos will behave and no-one will decide to kick off or run off or have an arm fall off (I needed another scenario with “off” in it…that has actually never happened and I’d be very upset if it did!)

Rambling about work isn’t the purpose of this post. Oh no…not today 🙂 Today’s post is about two things…DIY and baking. The latter of which I happen to LOVE, the former…not so much.

HOWEVER…you may remember I gleefully posted about my newly purchased wardrobe a little while ago. Well, it was delivered on Friday (by two surly delivery-men who had neglected to read my delivery instructions which clearly stated “delivery required above ground floor” and were stroppy with Rosie who kindly waited in for me) and so the lovely Tasha and I spent three (yes, only three!!) hours assembling it yesterday.

Of course I had to photograph the occasion…

Old wardrobe...came apart scarily quickly...
Wonderful Tasha...such a help, and a D.I.Y MASTER!!!!

 

So many pieces...

 

Finished product...we were proud, and my things will fit in, woohoo

 

I haad to include the last one…Tasha asked so nicely for a hammer, and then was directed to my (very flowery) toolbox, to find a VERY pink and VERY flowery hammer. I think she nearly wet herself laughing. And was not impressed. I, on the other hand, love my tools. The pattern makes no difference to its’ effectiveness, and it adds a touch of hilarity when others (e.g. Tasha, or firemen) need to use my tools. Hehe.

So that was what I did on Saturday afternoon. In the evening Rosie and I went mulberry foraging (yes, really) up at the University and had a wonderful time getting all berry-stained; the berries are very juicy when ripe and at many points it did look like I’d had an unfortunate accident…juice dripping down my hand looked scarily like blood. We figure that’s where the phrase “caught red-handed” came from.

In addition, it turns out that mulberry bushes (as in the nursery rhyme: ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’) are actually more like trees.  Sadly I forgot my camera, so no pictures of our little escapade…which is a shame, since for the majority of the foraging I was in fact halfway up the tree. In my defense that’s where the most ripe ones are, and you’re looking at a girl who spent a vast majority of her childhood on Dartmoor with her nana, being encouraged (read: forced) to climb trees and massive rock formations. I am fearless.

Moving on. After the mulberries we went to see The First Grader, at the Gulbenkian (the cinema on UKC campus) which was a brilliant film. There may have been some wetness in the eye areas at several points, but it was also funny too. Heartbreaking and heartwarming, and also very enlightening. I’d recommend it, though there are some quite violent parts so it’s definitely not suitable for younger ones, or those who can’t stomach violence (like me).

Which brings us to today!! My first time back at City since finishing Impact (4 weeks ago) and I had agreed to serve on creche since a friend couldn’t. I got to spend a lovely hour or so playing with gorgeous children and chatting with mums from church, so it was great. It was so good to be back at church for worship, and I’m not gonna lie, it was so wonderful to just rock up at 10.15 and leave at 12.30!

This afternoon I went to The Range (new superstore in Canterbury) to get some new storage boxes for in my wardrobe (also managed to pick up a bar of chocolate and a lightshade) then I came home and watched a movie (read: napped) and theeeeeen I made this beautiful creation:

MULBERRY PIE!!!! (and cinnamon crunch things made using the leftover pastry since I hate waste)

** Now, the observant among you may have noticed that my blog has become much more photo-friendly in the recent month or so. This would be because I have recently acquired a new camera, and after going most of my University years without one, I am catching up now by photographing pretty much everything. I hope that’s not a problem. If it is, tough…it’s my blog so nerrrrr.

Gosh, I’m so mature it scares me.

My point being: I took photos of my baking too, so here are some for your perusal…

Mulberries…which, for future reference, attract every.single.fly in the greater Canterbury area. Thankfully I have a swatter for such occasions, but be careful because you don’t want mulberry and fly pie. Ick.

Check out how neat my lattice strips are! I didn’t use a ruler or anything…though it definitely crossed my mind.

Ready to go in the oven…and you’ve seen the finished product already, so to finish this post (which has been startlingly long, sorry!) I’ll leave you with a photo of the cheeky little trinkets that Rosie brought back from her holiday at the end of July…

-x-