Thursday, 2 June 2016

Hello Gang!

Why HELLO there!

Life has been super busy lately and to be honest I have not even thought about blogging. I do miss typing out posts and reading other peoples blogs, but time is not on my side at present.

I am hoping in September things will calm down a little bit. So here's an update on what's going on in my world:

1) I qualify soon!

Since September I have been undertaking my Masters degree in public health. It has been tough- way tougher than I thought. I remember when I was an undergraduate doing my nursing degree. I found balancing full time placement hours, university assignments and a social life hard but I got through it. Now being older and studying, it has been a bit more of a strain! My life has changed since doing my degree. I have my own place now so I have a household to run and family to visit. I am also in a relationship which requires love and attention too. So with that and the placement hours/essays/social life- life has been much harder to balance.

However, I qualify in September and it feels good to be so close. I also went for an interview last week and was offered a wonderful position. So all this extra work has been worth it! It always will be. I have decided to defer completing the Masters dissertation until next summer. My plate is far to full to add a 20,000 worded dissertation on top of tall hat.

2) Much needed break coming up

I have a week off in June and I cannot wait. I am going on holiday to Spain with my family. I have not been on a family holiday for 12 years! So it should be fun for us to all be together for a few days. Plus no work! BLISS!


It is all over the news everyday here but if you have not heard, the UK will be voting in a referendum next month. The referendum is whether we stay in the European Union or not. I am not in the country when the vote takes place but I have registered for a postal vote. I have been in real limbo about what I am voting for. Everyone has personal reasons for which way they swing but for me the issue is saving our NHS. At present evidence suggests staying in the EU increases our NHS debt but I still need to research this.

4) I miss him

Tom is currently away in Thailand for 2 1/2 weeks. The longest we have been apart is 4 days so being without him for 17 days is tough! He is having a great time, despite it being monsoon season, and we have spoken on the phone. This break apart has really made me realise how important he is to me and how supportive he is. I feel very lucky!

5) Niece and nephew are growing up

When I blogged regularly I documented Cohen and Honor a fair bit. Well they are both a year older since I last wrote a blog on their development. Cohen continues to love trains, action figures and pasta. I cannot quite believe he starts school in September! Where has my newborn nephew gone?! He is such a pleasure to be around and so polite. He gives the best cuddles and has the coolest imagination. I think he is going to LOVE school. Honor is a little sass pot! She can be a lot to handle at times and is the biggest chatterbox. I find her so funny and I adore how girly she is. I still find it hard to believe how different both Cohen and Honor are but they adore each other. I got to spend the day with them at Legoland on Monday. I love seeing life through their eyes.

6) Mentally doing well

My biggest concern about starting my Masters was the anxiety. Yet, despite all the stress of studying and meeting deadlines the anxiety has been, relatively, okay. I do have days where the anxiety gets set off and this is usually due to things not going the way they should. Tom is a HUGE help because he is quite laid back, so when I get anxious he can generally calm me down. I have noticed the anxiety flares up on days when I am on my own, as that is when the negative thinking creeps in. I accept there will be days where I am alone (and to be honest I like the odd day to myself!) However, when I have a few days off and doing work at home, I try to make plans for the evening or go for a walk to focus my mind elsewhere.

7) Weddings

One of my good friends, Natalie, got married on the 14/05/2016. I have worked with Natalie for 4 years and it was the most wonderful day. The bride looked awesome, the music was great and the location was stunning. I have never been a big advocate for getting married myself. I think it's a lovely thing to do but I have never been too fussed about the hoo-ha of a wedding! But when I saw Natalie and Ollie dancing away in front of this beautiful sunset in the Hampshire hills...I did suddenly think 'I'd like this, one day, you know'.

8) Friendships that pass

I have been really saddened over the last year that some friendships have ended. I still find it weird that some people can be so apart of your life for so long, and then they disappear. I used to blog about my great friendship with Oli, who I travelled with to New Zealand. Sadly, he withdrew from me and we have no contact anymore which is such a shame. I was also really good friends with my friend Laura and I was even going to be her bridesmaid! Then some accusatory stories happened and I realised I could not be friends with her. I just find it so disheartening when you make such a effort with someone for so long and then BAM- it fades. I have definitely realised it does not matter how many people you have in your life. It's the quality of the time you make with those people.

9) Trying to be more active

I have definitely been a couch potato since starting back up at university. So I have taken up a dance class on a Monday and a Clubbercise class on a Thursday. I love the dance class! It is so fun to learn the actual choreography dancers do in musicals and with artists/bands.

10) This is how I feel about the whole Gorilla story

So that's my world in a small nutshell. I really am going to try and make more of an effort now my workload is slowing down. I miss the blogging life and I miss catching up on the lives of my blogging buddies.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Sexual Assault

For years I have learnt about abuse in all kinds of forms. I work in healthcare where one of my main roles is to protect people and care for their welfare. Yet, I have been really lucky to have no-one 'close to home' from me suffer from it (well from what I am aware of anyway).

So when I came home from a hen do this weekend, to my boyfriend clearly put off from something that happened in a football game, I was quite alarmed.

My boyfriend, Tom, plays in a football league for a local club every weekend. The team is run under the football association (FA) so there are A LOT of rules. He loves the game and is VERY passionate about playing. Two weeks ago he came home from a game and told me that a man, from the other team, kept pinching his bottom. It sounds rather petty from the outset but Tom said the more the player did it the more wound up he became. He was not consenting to it and the behaviour was putting him off the game. We talked about it afterwards but Tom did not see it as a big deal. He knew it was a 'tactic' to put him off the game.

So when I was in Belgium for the hen do I got word that Tom had been sent off the pitch with a red card. As a result of the red card he has been issued with a 3 match ban and a monetary fine. It turns out the referee had seen Tom push another player which resulted in an instant red card. When I heard I was perplexed! Tom is not a mean spirited person. He hates upsetting anyone so for him to react aggressively threw me off a little. There had to be more to it!

It turns out the same player this week continued his 'tactic' of grabbing him in personal areas. Tom appealed to the referee but because he did not see it he could not penalise the other player. When the player did it for a third time Tom reacted angrily, of which the referee did see! What is really upsetting is that as Tom walked off the pitch, after his red card, he saw the same player run up to his football manager, high five each other and celebrate that 'their plan had worked.' This is due to the previous week where the manager saw how angry Tom was getting to the bum pinching. So it was clear the manager planned the same thing to happen this week! As the less players a team has the less likely they are to score.

Isn't that twisted? Isn't that condoning assault to get a victory?

I appealed to Tom to follow this up. This is not fair. This is not sportsmanship and it is certainly not okay. Tom has reported it to the FA but due to no evidence it is unlikely the team will be upheld for their foul behaviour. Sadly when Tom told his football manager he had reported it to the FA he got no support. In fact his manager text Tom saying he had let the team down by being sent off. A sending off that was a reaction to sexual assault!!! 

But I am proud Tom has talked about it. I am glad he has recognised that it is okay to stick up for yourself, even if his team don't see the same view. If Tom did nothing I would have been upset, as this is why thousands of people suffer in silence. It is due to people not speaking up that the perpetrators think it is 'normal' to behave so grossly. This 'player' has been taught by his football manager to assault people as a way of earning victory.

Victory is earrned through hard work, determination and guts. It is not earned by cheating and immoral behaviours. Sadly, next season Tom has to miss out on three games and his bank account is a little lighter. Yet, at least he can continue to play a game he loves with some self worth and decent standards.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

High Expectations Hodgepodge!

I enjoy flitting in and out of hodgepodge from time to time. It also helps me take a break from essay here goes. If you would like to take part, answer the questions below and link back to your post (not blog) here.

1) What are two or three expectations you have of yourself?

I find this question hard because it changes all the time. I guess I debate that if I set myself expectations then I am setting myself up for failure. Yet, if I look over my life span I would say two things. Firstly, I always expect myself to not be sorry for my feelings/emotions. I have definitely learnt over the years that as soon as you try to justify the way you feel to someone, then you're not permitting yourself to feel how you feel. Secondly, I always expect myself to be on time. I really hate being late for things and it gets me flustered.

2) In what way does your outdoor space need sprucing up?

I do not have green fingers but I still have a creative streak for anything and everything. The winter and dark nights has made my grass turn into moss. It kills anything! So that needs killing off and I would like to get the paving redone for summer too.

3) According to the site road trippers, six of North Americas most wondrous waterfalls are:- Webster's Falls in Ontario, Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Multnomah Falls in Oregon, The Lower Yellowstone Falls and Niagara. Have you seen any of the falls? Which one on the list would you most like to visit? Prettiest waterfall not on the list you have seen in person?

I have been to Niagara which I thought was out of this world! Niagara had been on my bucket list for years so to see it was awesome. I have been to the Grand Canyon but did not have time to visit Havasu Falls but kind of wish I had. I saw some beautiful waterfalls in New Zealand last year. They were quite small but absolutely breathtaking. It was the bluest water I had ever seen! If the water current had not been so dangerous I would have jumped straight in.

Tekapo Falls

4) Looking back, whats something you wish you had done as a teenager?
I would definitely have said travelled more. As a teenager you don't have as much money and I spent a lot of my summers working instead of exploring. I do feel I lost a little of my youth from working lots.

5) Ham...yes please or no thank you?

I love ham! So yes please! In the UK we call it Gammon but I love it baked with all the trimmings or in a sandwich with coleslaw. Now this question has made me hungry...

6) Are you typical of your generation? How so?
mmm if my generation could be defined by loving boy bands, watching reruns of Friends and getting the travel bug then yes. I find it hard to sum up what makes my generation stand out. But I definitely think I come from a generation that likes to explore and are bit more daring, which I am.

7) April rolls in at the end of the week, and in keeping with that theme...'act the fool', 'nobodies fool', 'fools errand', 'could have fooled me'...which foolish idiom most recently applies to you? Explain.

Haha! I think they all do. I always hear the saying 'could have fooled me' a lot but I cannot think of something I can relate that too. On Good Friday I was doing an Easter Egg hunt with my nephew and I would search for the eggs and then he would fetch them (and keep them!) After a while I cottoned onto what he was doing- cheeky moo! So I was definitely acting the fool then.

8) Insert your own random thought here.
I am normally a person who does not stress too much about finances. As long as I have enough to pay for my house, food and travel then I feel quite equipped. But I need to have pricey dental work doing (due to a genetic issue with my teeth) and money is now on my mind. If I could win the lottery right now that would be great...or even a scratch card!


Monday, 14 March 2016

It's see you soon

Last October one of my oldest friends announced that she was moving to Bournemouth. It's a seaside town about two hours away but at the time it felt like her leaving was miles off.

I say goodbye this weekend. 

I sometimes cannot believe how fleeting time is. It is actually quite scary. I remember when she announced her plans, thinking, 'I'll have plenty of time to see her between now and March.' I can honestly say I have hardly seen her at all. Yet, instead of feeling guilty I have decided to be nostalgic.

Becca and I have been friends for 14 years. We can never remember how we exactly met at school. But she was my buddy I chatted to when getting ready for PE lessons, my coach partner on school trips, the girl I walked (and moaned with) on the way to German class, she shared my love of the band Busted and we took in the sights of Turkey together. I'll never forget when we were in Turkey we planned this big night out. Due to the fact we were penniless students we bought this cheap wine to 'pre drink.' Let's just say we never left the hotel room due to the 'cheap wine' making us feel so ill. It was funny and we still laugh our heads off to this day. Becca shares my love being creative and thinking outside the box. I will never forget we had arranged a special 21st birthday meal for our friend Sacha. However, the snow decided to ruin those plans but we refused for Sacha to not celebrate a big birthday. So Becca and I put our wellies on, picked up a cake, gifts and Chinese takeaway and walked to her house to surprise her. It turned out to be a perfect evening and I was blessed to have Becs to help make it happen.

Becca has met some hard times over the last few years. I am hoping harder than hope that this move signals a fresh start and a chance for her to put down new roots. She works hard and she deserves it. Our group of girls got her a bag of her favourite things as a leaving gift. Although she already knows it, any Bournemouth friends she makes will hold no torch for her Surrey girls haha!

This is not goodbye but an 'I'll see you soon' friend.


Sunday, 14 February 2016

Love Day

Valentines Day - the day single people may loathe. Yet, also the day where some people question why they have to spend more money for something they feel and 'do' everyday for their partner.

I have never been Valentines biggest fan. I am kind of sat on the fence with the paying out extra money part (not that you have to). But to spend a day where I can spoil and spend more time with the guy I love- added bonus in my eyes.

We are not doing anything out there or spending lots of money. I think we are going for a walk and maybe cinema (anyone seen Dirty Grandpa?) I love that I get to be with Tom today and have him to myself. We quite often go out with other people or we are in a house with family or friends. So to have a day just us two - I am going to savour it up.

I have had a few people ask me how it is going with Tom and that question of 'So what are you getting him for your FIRST Valentines?' It's sweet that people ask and I hope it is the first of many Valentines together.

Tom and I are in a good place. I am happy and he is a massive reason for that. I will be honest and say that my anxiety rears its ugly head a fair few times. I find some days a struggle to ward off the thoughts of 'you're not good enough for him' and 'it isn't going to work out.' On the whole Tom does a great job (and he doesn't even realise it) of easing my anxiety. He acknowledges my anxious feelings but he will not permit them interfere with anything. He puts a stop to it before it escalates. I just love him so much for that.

Oh and I made Tom a sweetie jar of his favourite sweets and got his favourite film - Snatch - on DVD (because his last DVD broke). Relationships are work but it's the BEST kind of work.

I hope you all have an awesome Valentines of loving on the people who love you.

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