Relief and regret.

So I survived Saturday afternoon.

I didn’t get moved – hoorah! – and I was working with people I get on with very well indeed, both of which cheered me up and which was a relief. And from the sound of the dreadful morning that the others had experienced I am VERY glad I didn’t work the early shift; the aggressive patients were difficult and one of them was so bad they had to phone his family, though I’m glad about that seeing as they have tended to be in denial about how bad he can be. No excuse now. He did calm down when they arrived, though.

It was a weird afteroon for me. I started off going round with one of the nurses, checking that people who are bedbound were comfortable, clean and dry but was then asked to sit with the agressive lady to keep her occupied which meant I could do some admin stuff from my other job on the ward. In the end I also got to clean her fingernails for her – they were very unsavoury which, considering she usually lives in a residential home is a bit worrying. I must have done a good job because she fell asleep while I was doing it. But later, after a long sleep and having had tea things took a turn for the worse. So far, during her stay with us, I had only heard about how she could be but now I got to be on the recieving end. In the end, after she had tried to throw things at me, pushed loads of stuff onto the floor, attempted to over turn the table she was sitting at (but failing because it’s part of a larger structure which is screwed to the floor) and belt me with her walking frame me and one of the nurses took her to her room where she tried to punch my colleague in the face and then bite his arm (he has a toddler, so his reactions are well honed and he avoided injury) and she hissed that she wanted to hurt me the most. Nice.

She remained in her room for approximately 3 minutes before coming out again, so we had to help her back to her previous place (she’s not safe on her feet without assistance) where she suddenly started to scream just an ambulance crew arrived to collect another patient so they could return them to their residential home, which meant we all had to run around gathering stuff together to make sure that the process went as quickly as possible (the ambulance crews have been told that if the hand-over process is going to take any more than 10 minutes they have to abandon it.) . I’m afraid that at this point my patience, which I usually possess in abundance, failed me and I snapped for her to “STOP IT!” She did stop, I have to say, but what I didn’t realise was that the relative of another patient had walked up behind us to witness this and, as I hurried away to help the (very cute) ambulance guys slide the patient from his bed on to their trolley she stooped and said soothingly “don’t worry I’m sure someone will help you soon” which made me feel like an absolute bastard. I’m kind of worried she’ll complain about it having only witnessed one moment from the whole afternoon.

As always I regretted losing my temper. It’s a rare occassion that I lose it and feel totally justified in doing so, and this time it’s haunting me a bit. 99.9999999% of the time I am an understanding and compassionate person but I can’t control that .00001%. That said,  in the 5 and a bit years I’ve been doing this job that’s the first time I’ve snapped like that.

Anyway, it’s now Monday afternoon and I’m sitting on the sofa watching YouTube videos. Drew was already a bit of a YouTube watcher but I am a recent convert and now I’m addicted. I think I like it because without fail all the people who vlog on there (who I watch anyway) seem so genuinly nice, mostly come from pretty normal backgrounds and seem truely surprised that they have become globally famous. That said at least one of them, having been pleasantly accosted in the street by fans, gasped “this is incredible because I’m not even famous.” I think what impresses me most is how many of them have embraced the technology and have created their own businesses and such like, plus they do all their own editing, handle all their own equipment and control all their output themselves. And I like the community that has formed; they have become friends in real life and hang out together even internationally. The Americans attend British meet-ups and vice versa and they stay in each other’s houses and flats. To sum up, it comes down to the “realness” of it all, probably as a reaction to all the artifice of the regular celebrity world. In the same way there are certain what you might call celebs that I like because they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously (which is why I like Kylie Minogue more than Madonna – perhaps it’s an Australian thing.)

So, back in the real world.

Having two days off from work on the trot has been rather nice, especially as I originally thought I was back in this afternoon whereas it’s actually TOMORROW afternoon. Yay me! Drew was off yesterday, too, as he never works on a Sunday,so we spent a very laid-back day catching up with some television, doing some washing and other things that required very little energy.  At 5.30 we drove through town to Mum and Dad’s for tea. The Girls were beside themselves about this as they love my parents’ garden. It’s the only place we go where they can run about freely (well, they can in our garden but it’s less than a third the size of my parents’ one.) Mum had done a chilli which was perfect for a chilly autumn evening.

The only downer was that late on during our visit Lola started to cough. She had been sick in the garden and then spent the rest of the evening eating grass and drinking loads of water. This went on after we went to bed with both Drew and I having to take her downstairs where she drank copious amounts of water and went out into the garden to eat grass. In fact she couldn’t get enough water. At about 5 to 4 I woke up again as Lola scratched at the bedroom door, sat up to put my bedside light on and put my hand out to support myself only to find that she had weed on the bed – only a little bit, but it’s so unlike her to do that. Back she went to the garden, and she was out there for ages and ages before coming back in and running back up to bed. We ended up sleeping on the mattress protector, me with a blanket on and Drew with the duvet cover rolled up so he didn’t get the wet bit on him. Then we all slept like logs until Drew’s alarm went off at FIVE!!

Lola sounded a bit croaky during the morning, but she’s been fine all day other than having a couple of coughs this evening. When I did what we call “poo patrol” this afternoon (clearing up the Girls’ deposits in the garden) I found a large bit of grassy sick as well. I presume Lola’s felt better since bringing all that up.

Sorry about that unsavoury interlude.

Not much else has happened. Watched more YouTube videos, done a shit load of washing and washing up.

Back to work tomorrow. Another late – back come the fears.

That’s it for now.

Fear.

Blimey. Back again.

Today I have The Fear. This is because rather than being on an early shift at work (I love earlies despite having to get up at 5 in the morning and starting at 7am) I am on a late, which today starts at 1pm. Why does this give The Fear, you may ask? Well there are a number of reasons:

1) Being moved. This is something none of us likes very much, being shifted from your own ward in the hospital to cover a shortage in another. Usually you get moved to a ward which does similar work (ie: elderly care) but sometimes you can be put on a ward which is entirely different, where they do things in a completely different way. It is, I suppose, a fear of being out of your depth. I  thought that after 5 years I would have got over this but I actually feel it worse than ever because the fear combines with FRUSTRATION that even now that I am experienced I feel stupid. It doesn’t help that people in those other wards think their way to do things is how it’s done everywhere. I sincerely hope we don’t make people who get moved to us from time to time as idiotic as other people can make me feel.

My reaction to this is to want to cry. Even at my age. Or be sick. This is EXACTLY how I used to feel as a child and discovering that I’ve never grown out of that is a bit of a shock.

2) Difficult patients. Generally patients with dementia are, in my experience, much more settled in the mornings. In the afternoons, however, due to the stimulation of lots of staff, lots of visitors, etc, some patients become very, very unsettled and in some cases can become very aggressive, even violent. Of course I deal with it, and never have to do so alone, but I would rather avoid it if I could. It can be distressing and dangerous for everyone.

3) Difficult visitors. This reminds me of my years working in retail. Many people’s expecations are WAY beyond the realms of reality and, boy, do they not like hearing the truth. In the hospital patients’ relatives sometimes believe that the ill person will be “cured” within days and get angry when they can’t be told a definite date for their discharge. They won’t accept that their relative can be aggressive because they never behave like that during visiting time – do they think we’re making it up? “My Dad came in with £200 in loose change but we can’t find it!” Why the fuck did he have that with him? Did he or someone in the family sign the disclaimer? They did. Tough shit, then. Why hasn’t my Dad had a shave? Because he tried to bite me, that’s why. And on it goes.

Makes it sound awful doesn’t it? In reality, probably I will have a lovely afternoon working with people I like and patients and visitors will behave like angels. I just don’t like uncertainty.

Bloody Hell, I’ve blogged.

Good grief.

It’s an age since I’ve written anything. I don’t know why the urge/need to put words onto the (digital) page dwindled so thoroughly but dwindle it did. It’s not that I never have anything to say it’s just that somehow the actual process of translating the things banging in around in my head into words kills the spontaneity. Maybe if I went back to writing the sort of fiction I used to write years ago (albeit stuff that no one woud read but myself) it would be different but I don’t feel the need to do that anymore either… probably because I’m actually happy with life these days and all my writing was borne of the angst I was feeling back in the day (as the kids say.) Some of the best books I’ve read are tragic, perhaps it takes the inspiration of tragedy to produce the goods.

And of course I was still single when I used to blog a lot. Once you have a real life human in your life it can be a bit distracting.

Sooooooo might this fragment be the start of some more writings? I dunno, if I’m honest. I felt like writing a bit tonight, so I did.

Anyway, until the next time…………

In which I meet the nicest man in retail and plan a trip.

Hello Readers.

Let’s ignore the countdown to Xangapocalypse and continue as though nothing is wrong.

Could our local chemist be the Nicest Man In Retail? I have already mentioned him in a blog a while ago (can’t recall when) due to his ability to remember details about what must be his thousands of customers amongst other things, but lst week he did something for me that means I think he should be awarded in some way. After work (and a little rest) I took my prescriptions round the corner to the chemists to get my new anti-depressants and some antibiotics for my infected gum. I was a bit worried about doing this because every two months they have my repeat prescription ready for me so that there’s no messing about or waiting and for the second time I was going to have to get there and explain that my GP had changed one of the pills, so that their preplanned packets were going to be redundant. But I need not have been concerned; I was too soon in the month for the stuff to be ready, and Mr. Chemist didn’t mind at all anyway. But I have yet to get to the best bit: when he brought all the packets to the counter, he jokingly said, “Are you ready to take out a second mortgage?” I laughed and said that although I was going to pay up front this time I intended to set up a pre-payment direct debit, which entitles you to a rather substantial discount. He regarded me for a moment and then said, “I think I can trust you,” and GAVE ME EVERYTHING FOR NOTHING on the proviso that I went home, set up that direct debit and then returned the next day to tell him. So that’s exactly what I have done, saving myself a £40 lump sum payment! It’s the sort of thing that almost never happens!

When I was recounting this tale to our friends, who also go there, they told us how they had once gone to collect something on prescription but he gave THEM money back because he sells that item off the shelf for much less money than it is on prescription! What a gent.

I realise that I have never given an update on my hearing problem, the result of that virus I had a few weeks back. Well, I’m pleased to say that although I am, from time to time, aware of a high pitched whistling in it the roaring sound and the weird echo effect have completely disappeared. In fact I totally forgot to mention it the last time I visited the doctors, so improved was it. I am relieved, naturally, but do have a slight concern that it may come back to haunt me in the future.

Right, this was short. I’m off to buy train tickets for another trip to London in July! Exciting!

Back soon.

 

 

 

Wednesday 12th: In which I speculate about Gallifreyan gender assignment as well as other guff.

Hello, Readers.
I don’t know whether it is the news of the dubious future of Xanga, where I have had a presence in one form or another, for over a decade, but I have not had an inclination to write anything at all. That’s not to say that I haven’t garnered subjects in my head from time to time, but when it has come to the act of pressing fingertip to key I have found it impossible to be motivated. There is no connection between what is in my mind and the wish to see it in printed word forms on a screen.

So, let’s steer clear of the Xanga debate except to day that I have set up a place at WordPress, which seems okay, but which I have yet to use properly, and turn to more pressing matters such as who will take over from Matt Smith in “Doctor Who” now that he has announced that he is to regenerate in the Christmas episode. Speculation in the media is rife and, of course, the old “will it be a woman?” subject has raised it’s gnarled old head again just as it has ever since Tom “Fourth Doctor” Baker mischeviously wished his successor great success “whoever he, or she, might be…” The Doctor can not regenerate into a woman. There are Time Lords and Time Ladies: if a Gallifreyan character is “born” as a male then he stays that way throughout his regenerations. Similarly it seems, through the show’s long history, that if a Time Person is “born” white he or she stays white, if they were black or oriental in their first persona then they remain so through their regenerations.

Should show-runner Stephen Moffat experience some sort of mental flip and cast a woman, then I will stop watching the series. That’s not me being sexist, that’s me being loyal to a character: the Doctor may look and act differently each regeneration, but he is in essence the same person at heart(s). There is no Trill-like symbiotic presence to bond with a different host (and how strange that on-screen Dax managed to bond with two pretty females in swift succession rather than a middle aged man as previously but never seen.) Years ago I stopped watching when Colin Baker was cast as the Sixth Doctor because the character was so altered as to be a different person. It didn’t last; the Sixth Doctor mellowed and in the subsequent audio stories from Big Finish is much more Doctor-y and as Colin Baker would always have preferred to play him.

So, who will play HIM when he regenerates? Many names have been bandied about and the BBC have denied the Sunday Telegraph’s claim that they offerred the part to Rory Kinnear, recently seen in “Skyfall.” Personally I’d love it if it was Russell Tovey, but I suspect he wouldn’t want to be tied to one part for so long. My speculation is that it might be one of the two male leads from the recently-cancelled Merlin, perhaps Bradley James, who played Arthur or Colin Morgan, who portrayed Merlin himself. In my opinion Bradley James, although very handsome, is not a good enough actor to bring it off. He’s a perfectly serviceable actor, but I don’t see enough depth in his performances to bring to a character like the Doctor whereas Colin Morgan has that slight other-worldliness that Matt Smith has and the acting skills to go with it. I’m unlikely to be right in any case. Despite the fact that the media is reacting to the news as though Smith rang the BBC one morning and said, “Well, lads, it’s been fab but I’ll only do up to Christmas,” the reality is more likely to be that he gave his notice in many months ago and that the Twelfth Doctor has already known who he is for a very long time.

What may happen to the character in his twelfth incarnation? The series has a tradition that as Gallifreyans proceed through their regenerations they are prone to corruption and the likelihood that they will become evil versions of their former selves. Indeed, this has already been seen with the Doctor himself: the character of the Valeyard during the “Trial of a Timelord” series in the 80s turned out to be a baddie-future-regeneration of the Doctor. The Valeyard was even mentioned in the last episode of the most recent series as the Doctor and Clara had to confront all the past versions of himself. And then there’s the sticky situation regarding the number of regenerations that a Time Lord has. In the 1996 the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) states that a Time Lord has 13 lives. This means that the next time he changes should be the last time – after that he will die when his time comes. But, lest we forget, we are in the realms of science-fiction where anything can, and does, happen. During the action of “The Five Doctors” the Time Lords promise the evil Master another regeneration cycle if he helps them (and he’s already been through, and rather gruesomely beyond, his generation cycle and is then inhabiting someone else’s body.) If the programme is still making money for the BBC and still gaining success around the world (especially in the US) then it won’t be the Time Lords that grant the Doctor a prolonged existence, it will be the Grand Council of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Let us leave the fantastic worlds of science fiction and television behind and return to reality.

Today Drew has driven up to Birmingham to attend the funeral of his uncle, his father’s twin, who died a couple of weeks ago. He looked very smart, driving away in his suit trousers and a tie, but although he will get to see some relatives he rarely sees and one of his nieces who he adores, naturally it is not an experience he is relishing. Since his parents died he finds funerals very difficult. I hope he is okay, but he will be home tonight and we spoke (eventually after various phone problems) when he had just reached Birmingham. The Girls are behaving better than I had hoped in his absence; Charley has spent most of the morning asleep, which is usual for her because she’s not a morning girl, while Lola has not been as hysterical as she sometimes is. I think this is because I’ve been busy doing houseworky things and Lola has followed me about so she hasn’t had time to dwell on Drew not being here. Long may this continue, because there are times when her neurosis is hard to cope with without losing your temper.

We had a very nice weekend. I had both Saturday and Sunday off work, which was good. Our neighbour, a lovely lady, was having an “open day” at her house on Saturday, which she has recently sold. We assumed this was so that her (many) friends could pop in to wish her farewell but it turned out it was actually her 70th birthday too. After doing some much needed shopping we and The Girls took a good luck card and a bottle of wine and knocked on her door.

I always find it awkward to meet new people, although I get over it fairly quickly, but the arrival of the Girls elicited more attention than we did. Lola was very over-excited and wanted to meet everyone all at the same time, so I had to hold her on my lap until she had calmed down. Charley was not at all sure and did not really relax. Unfortunately she took against our hostess’s sister, why we will never know although she does possess a passing resemblance to both the woman who cuts the dogs’ hair and my Mum’s cousin, who Charley has never liked. But this dislike of the sister extended to Charley trying to nip her on the leg as she walked past even though she (Charley) was sitting on Drew’s lap. She has never tried to bite anyone before! Fortunately this incident was laughed off by everyone except Charley who did settle but not without keeping her eye on her perceived nemesis and the occasional grumble. We took them home in the end, though, which Lola was cross about but which meant we were able to relax.

In the end, having been wary of feeling a little out of place, we out-stayed everyone save the sister who was staying there and got home, slightly merry but the right side of a bowl of soup each, after midnight! It had been a very pleasant evening indeed, and nice to meet lots of new people despite my shyness.

Sunday was not the bright and sunny day my parents had hoped for as they had invited the two of us, the Girls and my brother’s family round for lunch to celebrate Mum’s birthday earlier in the week. Disappointingly my sister-in-law wasn’t well enough to come but the rest of us managed to enjoy ourselves. The original intention had been to eat outside, but the chill put paid to that so Mum layed out a buffet lunch in the dining room and we all trooped in and out as often as our appetites required. It was a lovely spread, of course, and I ate far too much. I’d like to think that the walk some of us then took in the nearby park wore off some of the extra calories, but I doubt it. (It was during this walk that my youngest nephew sagely informed his older sister that if anyone should be able to pooh in their trousers then it would be Father Christmas, because he’s magic and he could magic himself some clean ones on!)

Dad, my brother and my oldest nephew stayed behind to watch some sport or other on telly, so it was Mum who accompanied the other two to the playground in the park while Drew and I took the dogs for a walk. We met up after about 40 minutes and strolled back to the house for “surprise” birthday cake (that everyone knew about, particularly Mum as she had bought it) and some drawing and colouring in before Brother decided it was time get back to Sisterinlaw. Drew and I stayed for another hour but then left Mum and Dad to watch the Montreal Grand Prix in peace, and came home for tea.

Work-wise things are much better. Finishing at half one in the afternoon is bliss and so far I’ve been asked to go in early for all my late shifts, so I’ve been finishing at a reasonable hour. After today I have 5 shifts in a row, but I really don’t mind about that. I have learned two relevant, and interesting facts this week: another hospital is reviewing its 12 hour shifts on its elderly wards and the one ward where the Matron claims everyone is happy with the new shifts is not happy at all: I worked with woman yesterday who left after 6 months on there so she could return to working short shifts on the pool who informed me that the staff on there are anything but happy! Of course, as we suspected, the three month trial period has not resulted in anything and in fact has been extended to six months! And “they” wonder why we don’t trust them.

Ah well. I’m going to try posting this on WordPress as well.

Laters.

Footnote: getting this entry, typed up on my laptop’s own word system has been a right pain in the arse. FFS.

Wednesday 10.06.13 in which I debate whether Gallifreyans can change sex and other guff.

Hello, Readers.

I don’t know whether it is the news of the dubious future of Xanga, where I have had a presence in one form or another, for over a decade, but I have not had an inclination to write anything at all. That’s not to say that I haven’t garnered subjects in my head from time to time, but when it has come to the act of pressing fingertip to key I have found it impossible to be motivated. There is no connection between what is in my mind and the wish to see it in printed word forms on a screen.

So, let’s steer clear of the Xanga debate except to day that I have set up a place at WordPress, which seems okay, but which I have yet to use properly, and turn to more pressing matters such as who will take over from Matt Smith in “Doctor Who” now that he has announced that he is to regenerate in the Christmas episode. Speculation in the media is rife and, of course, the old “will it be a woman?” subject has raised it’s gnarled old head again just as it has ever since Tom “Fourth Doctor” Baker mischeviously wished his successor great success “whoever he, or she, might be…” The Doctor can not regenerate into a woman. There are Time Lords and Time Ladies: if a Gallifreyan character is “born” as a male then he stays that way throughout his regenerations. Similarly it seems, through the show’s long history, that if a Time Person is “born” white he or she stays white, if they were black or oriental in their first persona then they remain so through their regenerations.

Should show-runner Stephen Moffat experience some sort of mental flip and cast a woman, then I will stop watching the series. That’s not me being sexist, that’s me being loyal to a character: the Doctor may look and act differently each regeneration, but he is in essence the same person at heart(s). There is no Trill-like symbiotic presence to bond with a different host (and how strange that on-screen Dax managed to bond with two pretty females in swift succession rather than a middle aged man as previously but never seen.) Years ago I stopped watching when Colin Baker was cast as the Sixth Doctor because the character was so altered as to be a different person. It didn’t last; the Sixth Doctor mellowed and in the subsequent audio stories from Big Finish is much more Doctor-y and as Colin Baker would always have preferred to play him.

So, who will play HIM when he regenerates? Many names have been bandied about and the BBC have denied the Sunday Telegraph’s claim that they offerred the part to Rory Kinnear, recently seen in “Skyfall.” Personally I’d love it if it was Russell Tovey, but I suspect he wouldn’t want to be tied to one part for so long. My speculation is that it might be one of the two male leads from the recently-cancelled Merlin, perhaps Bradley James, who played Arthur or Colin Morgan, who portrayed Merlin himself. In my opinion Bradley James, although very handsome, is not a good enough actor to bring it off. He’s a perfectly serviceable actor, but I don’t see enough depth in his performances to bring to a character like the Doctor whereas Colin Morgan has that slight other-worldliness that Matt Smith has and the acting skills to go with it. I’m unlikely to be right in any case. Despite the fact that the media is reacting to the news as though Smith rang the BBC one morning and said, “Well, lads, it’s been fab but I’ll only do up to Christmas,” the reality is more likely to be that he gave his notice in many months ago and that the Twelfth Doctor has already known who he is for a very long time.

What may happen to the character in his twelfth incarnation? The series has a tradition that as Gallifreyans proceed through their regenerations they are prone to corruption and the likelihood that they will become evil versions of their former selves. Indeed, this has already been seen with the Doctor himself: the character of the Valeyard during the “Trial of a Timelord” series in the 80s turned out to be a baddie-future-regeneration of the Doctor. The Valeyard was even mentioned in the last episode of the most recent series as the Doctor and Clara had to confront all the past versions of himself. And then there’s the sticky situation regarding the number of regenerations that a Time Lord has. In the 1996 the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) states that a Time Lord has 13 lives. This means that the next time he changes should be the last time – after that he will die when his time comes. But, lest we forget, we are in the realms of science-fiction where anything can, and does, happen. During the action of “The Five Doctors” the Time Lords promise the evil Master another regeneration cycle if he helps them (and he’s already been through, and rather gruesomely beyond, his generation cycle and is then inhabiting someone else’s body.) If the programme is still making money for the BBC and still gaining success around the world (especially in the US) then it won’t be the Time Lords that grant the Doctor a prolonged existence, it will be the Grand Council of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Let us leave the fantastic worlds of science fiction and television behind and return to reality.

Today Drew has driven up to Birmingham to attend the funeral of his uncle, his father’s twin, who died a couple of weeks ago. He looked very smart, driving away in his suit trousers and a tie, but although he will get to see some relatives he rarely sees and one of his nieces who he adores, naturally it is not an experience he is relishing. Since his parents died he finds funerals very difficult. I hope he is okay, but he will be home tonight and we spoke (eventually after various phone problems) when he had just reached Birmingham. The Girls are behaving better than I had hoped in his absence; Charley has spent most of the morning asleep, which is usual for her because she’s not a morning girl, while Lola has not been as hysterical as she sometimes is. I think this is because I’ve been busy doing houseworky things and Lola has followed me about so she hasn’t had time to dwell on Drew not being here. Long may this continue, because there are times when her neurosis is hard to cope with without losing your temper.

We had a very nice weekend. I had both Saturday and Sunday off work, which was good. Our neighbour, a lovely lady, was having an “open day” at her house on Saturday, which she has recently sold. We assumed this was so that her (many) friends could pop in to wish her farewell but it turned out it was actually her 70th birthday too. After doing some much needed shopping we and The Girls took a good luck card and a bottle of wine and knocked on her door.

I always find it awkward to meet new people, although I get over it fairly quickly, but the arrival of the Girls elicited more attention than we did. Lola was very over-excited and wanted to meet everyone all at the same time, so I had to hold her on my lap until she had calmed down. Charley was not at all sure and did not really relax. Unfortunately she took against our hostess’s sister, why we will never know although she does possess a passing resemblance to both the woman who cuts the dogs’ hair and my Mum’s cousin, who Charley has never liked. But this dislike of the sister extended to Charley trying to nip her on the leg as she walked past even though she (Charley) was sitting on Drew’s lap. She has never tried to bite anyone before! Fortunately this incident was laughed off by everyone except Charley who did settle but not without keeping her eye on her perceived nemesis and the occasional grumble. We took them home in the end, though, which Lola was cross about but which meant we were able to relax.

In the end, having been wary of feeling a little out of place, we out-stayed everyone save the sister who was staying there and got home, slightly merry but the right side of a bowl of soup each, after midnight! It had been a very pleasant evening indeed, and nice to meet lots of new people despite my shyness.

Sunday was not the bright and sunny day my parents had hoped for as they had invited the two of us, the Girls and my brother’s family round for lunch to celebrate Mum’s birthday earlier in the week. Disappointingly my sister-in-law wasn’t well enough to come but the rest of us managed to enjoy ourselves. The original intention had been to eat outside, but the chill put paid to that so Mum layed out a buffet lunch in the dining room and we all trooped in and out as often as our appetites required. It was a lovely spread, of course, and I ate far too much. I’d like to think that the walk some of us then took in the nearby park wore off some of the extra calories, but I doubt it. (It was during this walk that my youngest nephew sagely informed his older sister that if anyone should be able to pooh in their trousers then it would be Father Christmas, because he’s magic and he could magic himself some clean ones on!)

Dad, my brother and my oldest nephew stayed behind to watch some sport or other on telly, so it was Mum who accompanied the other two to the playground in the park while Drew and I took the dogs for a walk. We met up after about 40 minutes and strolled back to the house for “surprise” birthday cake (that everyone knew about, particularly Mum as she had bought it) and some drawing and colouring in before Brother decided it was time get back to Sisterinlaw. Drew and I stayed for another hour but then left Mum and Dad to watch the Montreal Grand Prix in peace, and came home for tea.

Work-wise things are much better. Finishing at half one in the afternoon is bliss and so far I’ve been asked to go in early for all my late shifts, so I’ve been finishing at a reasonable hour. After today I have 5 shifts in a row, but I really don’t mind about that. I have learned two relevant, and interesting facts this week: another hospital is reviewing its 12 hour shifts on its elderly wards and the one ward where the Matron claims everyone is happy with the new shifts is not happy at all: I worked with woman yesterday who left after 6 months on there so she could return to working short shifts on the pool who informed me that the staff on there are anything but happy! Of course, as we suspected, the three month trial period has not resulted in anything and in fact has been extended to six months! And “they” wonder why we don’t trust them.

Ah well. I’m going to try posting this on WordPress as well.

Laters.