Monday, February 20, 2017

Nails!

After a series of nights (not ideal as I sleep for only 2-3 hours in the day) I am now off for 8 days!

Being a nurse, I am not allowed to have nice hair, pretty nails, fashion of ANY sort at work. The odd bit of nail varnish when I have 3+ days off is all I manage.

Just before I got married in December, my lovely sister took me to get my nails done and they looked beautiful! I had "girly nails" according to Miss KT, and I loved it.

Once I went back to work it was 'short and bare' again. And any time off is too precious to spend a couple of hours waiting for nail varnish to dry properly.

Until I bought a UV lamp thingy for home use.

This morning, I used some gel varnish and sat with my hands being warmed by the little lamp machine and it was wonderful! Each coat takes 2 minutes to 'dry.' TWO minutes! A splosh of cuticle oil (the shiny bits on the picture) and I have girly nails again.

Eight days with pretty nails. Bliss!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

My kitten: addict

 Our kitten, Barley, is a strange one.

As I type this, she is sitting on my desk directly between me and the keyboard. It's a bit bloody awkward to be honest.

The other night, we were amazed because a rare thing happened.

We were watching Westworld when she jumped onto the footstool and started to watch it with us. Now, I know there are probably LOTS of cats who enjoyed the series, and who can blame them? But Barley doesn't watch things like that. Oh no. Barley enjoys wildlife programmes.

As soon as David Attenborough starts telling us about the meerkats, the rhinos, the polar bears or the parakeets, that's it. She's there. Perched. Watching. She's addicted.

Mr KT is a football fanatic (something that does not delight Miss KT and myself, I might add) so he watches every Manchester City game possible.

Unfortunately, Barley has a penchant for football too.  Yep, there she sits, watching the action and then every now and again she thinks she can do better so she gets up, goes over to the screen and starts hitting it with her paw. I won't let Mr KT hear this, but sometimes I think Barley probably has a much better idea at where to kick the ball than the men on the pitch.

She's not just a telly addict. She's also a cuddle-monster. She has moved from sitting on my desk and is now cuddled up, on me, regardless of what I do or where I go. It's difficult to say 'no' really :)



Saturday, January 28, 2017

Everything changes in time

Antigua, December 2016
Well, here we are again. It's been a long time, I know. And I've been on quite a journey since the last time I was here.

Ah, my blog. I have treated it badly. If it were a pet, it would have perished long since.

Probably a good job it's just an online journal, really.

So, in the interest of kick-starting this little online journal I call my own, I am going to attempt to explain what's been going on for the past 18 months or so.

Get yourselves a cuppa. This may take a while.

A few big 'things' have happened. They have each had an affect on how I think about myself, my family and my future. Profound, huh?!

After my last post, I continued to go about my job which I hated with a passion. I won't go into the politics of it too much, other than to say that after training for 3 years and having achieved a first class honours degree in Mental Health Nursing, I started working as a staff nurse on a ward that just wasn't prepared for a new starter. The ward had a stand-in manager who just did not have time to support me. Some of the staff were lovely towards me and helpful. Many were not.

Day by day, I lost any, and all, enthusiasm I had for the job. I began to hate it. I felt sick when I got up in the morning. I felt sick when I drove into the carpark. I felt sick walking into the hospital. I was diagnosed with IBS after about 4 months of being there (irritable bowel syndrome) which made things so much worse! I also started having trouble with my left knee - an old injury came back to haunt me - being signed off work by my GP for 2 weeks as I couldn't walk. Someone higher up than me came to speak to me about that once I returned. Did I think, once I was back at work and dosed up to the eyeballs on very strong painkillers, limping like Long John Silver, that I would "have more time off with it?" I wanted to say "I don't f*cking know, you heartless cow," but I smiled and said "I hope not."

Some people who work in a so-called caring profession are absolute shits to their staff, believe me.

Although I didn't realise it at the time, I became depressed. Properly depressed, as I now realise. Being a mental health nurse, I, of course, did did not recognise the symptoms in myself. I knew I was a bit low, but really had no idea how bad I was.

Mr KT could see what was going on (he's a mental health nurse, too, and has been qualified many years longer than me) but he never came out and said it, rather, he altered the way he was around me, enabling me to just 'be'. He cooked more, cleaned more, did the washing and drying of clothes, did the washing up... He was bloody amazing really. He did almost everything while I got up and went to work, came home and watched telly.

It's not surprising I didn't want to write. I didn't want to do anything.

Then, about a year ago, we started to plan our wedding abroad. We had already booked it a few months previously, we had not done any more than that, though.

Slowly, over the months, I thought more about the wedding and the reception we were to have after the holiday, and less about how awful work was. I started to really enjoy planning the details of the wedding: what the bridesmaids were going to wear, how I was going to have my hair, whether or not to have petals on the isle runner (of course we were going to have petals!) and did we want a videographer too? I started to feel like me again.

By June, we had a new, gorgeous little kitten who turned our home upside down. The energy of this tiny bundle is amazing. She chats to us. Yes, she chats to us. She is very talkative. If you say "hello" to her, 9 times out of 10 she will miaow straight back. She will continue to talk as you ask her how her day has been etc. If she does something naughty, and you ask her "who did this?" she will miaow, rather indignantly I might add. Having her is a bit like having a puppy. She is very loving and loyal and our constant companion whether we like it or not.




By about July/August last year, I began to hate my job less.

Then, in September, my step-daughter, Miss KT, moved in with us. She is 21 and has a collection of clothes that would just about fit into a 3-storey town house.

We live in a small 2-bedroomed bungalow.

I have an excellent relationship with both of my step-children. I am very lucky! My step-son lives a couple of hundred miles away, alas, but we see him as often as we are able. Miss KT moving in has taught me a lot about myself and I love that. Not having children of my own, I have always enjoyed being 'selfish' with my time and Mr KT and myself  have enjoyed seeing her once or twice a week for many years now, to stay over or just for dinner, but the rest of our time has been OUR time. We've been young again :)

My time is now rarely my own. Things have changed somewhat. I have priorities. Mr and Miss KT are my priorities (yes, the kitten is too). As long as we 3 are in our jimjams, on the sofa, watching rubbish on the telly, the world is a good place! In fact, many things have changed since September.

I am still working at the same hospital, on the same ward, with the same people (mostly). I now love my job. Yes, I love my job. I work 12.5 hour shifts but get 3 or 4 days off a week. Three or four day/night shifts in a row is bloody exhausting but it's good to have 'more' time off. Nursing is now a part of me. If you picked me up and put me somewhere else I'd have no idea how to do a 'normal' job. Mental health nursing is often intense. It's sometimes very stressful and can be dangerous. But, then, being a lollipop lady or a teacher can be stressful and dangerous too. Mental health nursing is not sexy. The government (and it matters not who is in charge) quite simply do not see the importance of good mental health to every single one of us. Mental illness affects us all.

I am passionate about my job. Now.

Actually, I'm now passionate about a lot of things. Mr KT and I got married in Antigua in December just gone. We took 11 of our family and closest friends with us and it was truly a fairytale experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. (The kitten stayed behind in a lovely cattery. She bore no ill will towards us when we got home.)

Things are now good. I mean that. 'Family life' has taken on a new meaning. Living in a house tiny bungalow with a new wife, a daughter and a female kitten, I pity Mr KT, but he copes very well.

Mr KT's new wife has a new lease of life that she is looking forward to unleashing.

Let the writing begin :)