Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Time.

I wish you all a Happy Christmas this year.

I truly hope that each and every one of you has a magical time this holiday. I know many have struggled to get into the Christmas spirit this year. I know I have. However, I will always believe that Christmas waves this magic wand over the world. And hopefully, even for just a couple of hours or days everything seems much softer, more beautiful and memorable.

I hope that your best Yuletide decoration this year is that your're all wreathed in smiles and good will.

Have a blissful time wherever you are or whoever your're with. I received some lovely black boots this year from Santa :)

If I do not speak,chat, message or twitter with you this side of 2009 then I wish you a brilliant start to 2010!


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

My 2010: Project Life.

Hi everyone!

I have something I would love to share with you all :)

It is not long now until we hear the clock strike midnight in a couple of weeks to ring in another new year. A new decade. I am not one for new years resolutions, they go out of the window by lunchtime on new years day!

My Grandma has been pestering my Mum and I to find out what I would like as a Christmas gift this year and to be honest there isn't anything I particularly want/need. My Grandma doesn't like getting 'typical' gifts like CD's, DVD's or perfume. The gift has to be something significant and poignant from herself. It is one of the many things I adore about her! Therefore, I knew I had to get my thinking cap on :)

I have heard many people take part in a creative project called 'Project: 365.' It is where you take a picture everyday for a year and scrapbook it into an album. Then at the end of that year you look back at everything you have seen, achieved, disliked and loved. I first heard about it last year and the thought was appealing but me creative? I think not. Then I read on Becky Higgins blog that she had designed a new 'Project: 365' kit. Everything is designed in the kit from folders, to stamps and journalling cards. The colours are really pretty as well. All I have to do is take the photo and print. I love it so much and the price is fantastic as well :)

This is without a doubt one of the best gifts I will ever receive :) 2010 is going to be a 'big' year for me. I turn 21, earn my nursing degree, get my dream job and I have many other activities I am excited for. I cannot wait to take pictures, print and journal about this upcoming year. I already know it will be a year I will never forget - and 2009 hasn't even ended yet!

Appreciate the Past. Make the most of the Present. Live for the Future.

Is there anything your doing with your 2010 next year?!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Cookie Recipe Exchange.

I was so excited last week to hear that Jessica over at The Mom Creative was doing a Cookie Recipe Exchange. It started yesterday but unfortunately I was unwell so have decided to take part today :)

I have the biggest sweet tooth - seriously when I go to a restaurant I look at the dessert menu before anything else.

One of the biggest things I associate with Christmas are smells/aromas of cooking and baking. I always have to bake at least one sweet thing in this festive period. I am not a fan of cookies but I LOVE brownies! Who doesn't? So I have decided to share with you my favourite recipe and encourage you to share your favourite baking recipe on your blog using this super cute button below.

Snow-Flecked Christmas Brownies.

You will need:

  • 375g of dark chocolate
  • 375g unsalted butter (make sure it is at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract - make sure you smell it, it's lovely :)
  • 6 eggs
  • 350g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 225g plain flour
  • 250g white chocolate buttons or cubes.

1. Preheat the oven at around 180C or gas mark 4.
2. Grease your brownie tin at the base and sides.
3. Melt the butter and dark chocolate together  - I love the marble effect at this bit :)
4. In a separate bowl or measuring jug beat the eggs with the sugar and vanilla extract.
5. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt to it.
6.When the chocolate mixture has melted let it cool a little bit before mixing in the eggs and sugar, and then the flour.
7. Then finally the best bit! Fold in the white chocolate buttons. Beat to combine smoothly and then scrape it out into your greased baking tin.
Bake for about 25 mins.
Just a little note, when the top has gone a little paler it means the middle is still very gooey and warm. Yum yum yum!!! You can sieve icing sugar on top to give it a snowy effect :)

It should feed between 8-10 people.
So....what's your favourite baking recipe? Please share and if you can link back on Jess's blog as she is doing a scrummy give-away!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

I am Addicted <3

You know how everyone has a certain accessory or item of clothing they forever change? Believe me my sister is forever getting new boots! Mine is mobile phones. I get SO bored SO easily of mobiles. I constantly have to be updated with the newest model. It is just my 'thing' I guess.

Well this week I got the Blackberry 8900 curve. I am in love :)

I have to admit it isn't the nicest looking phone I have ever had but it has everything I have ever wanted. Everything is so easily accessible internet, music, messaging etc and it is cheaper than my old contract. I have 1000 free messages and unlimited free internet and calls :) Heaven! 

So forgive me if I am a little absent from my blog as I barely turn my computer on at the moment because my Mum says 'I constantly have my phone surgically attached to me' - thanks Mum :) 

Do you have something you always change or update?

Also in other news, one of my recent posts I mentioned that my blogging pal Patrice's sister was being tested for Cancer. Sadly, she has been diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma - a type of bone cancer. They have found it early and they are treating it right away! It's game on from here and you can read their story and updates on Anna's Caring bridge site. This family is incredible, their strength and determination is inspiring :)

Have a great weekend.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Music Monday.

It goes without saying that the book 'My Sister's Keeper' ranks highly on my list. When I heard that the film had a different ending to the novel I decided not to go and see it in the cinema. I really doubt films that change the storyline to get more of an 'effect' with its audience. I watched it for the first time yesterday and I must say I loved it! I was 'holding out' well from tearing up. I even said to my friend I thought I was surprising myself. Then this song came on in one of the most beautiful scenes. Safe to say I had my Kleenex out until the end of the movie.

For Music Monday this song is just magical. It reminded me of people I have watched pass away, witness get married and the many births I have had the pleasure to assist in. There is always a place, a certain someone, smell or a memento that just...feels like home.

What songs have spoken out to you lately?

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Taylor Swift: You were amazing!

In the summer I decided to treat myself with the little money I had. So when I heard Taylor Swift was doing a one off concert in London I snapped at the chance to see her. She isn't as 'big' over here as she is in America, but she sure knows how to pack out an arena!

I took my fourteen year old cousin, Helen, and it was really nice to spend time with her since I only see her twice a year. It was also hilarious because she is at that age of real attitude and lip on her. Just reminded me of how awful I was at that age!

I managed to get some photos but it was so dark I could not see what setting I was on. So they are pretty dull. The memories though? Priceless!

The highlights were her show opener you belong with me, love story, fifteen and your not sorry (purely for the amazing waterfall she had behind her!) I just loved every minute of it. She really knew how to entertain the crowd and put on a show at 19!

I think my favourite song she did was 'Fearless' because of the way she introduced it and the background was pretty :). She was talking about how so many people make it a priority to find love and how meeting the right guy is essential to living life. When instead we shouldn't have any mind-set or goals, t0 just go with the flow and be fearless when it does happen. I really related to that and I got a little video of the song :)

One of the best parts though was once the concert was over I met one of my blogging pals Sam. We have been talking for a while via chat and texts so when it came to meeting her I wasn't at all nervous. She was lovely and it was great to finally meet someone from the blogging world. It was the best end to a brilliant night!

I am seeing Florence and The Machine, Kelly Clarkson, Brad Paisley and Lady GaGa next year. I am looking forward to 2010 already :)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Children in Need.

Today in the United Kingdom is Children in Need. It is an 8 hour live telethon on the TV where we raise money and gifts for underprivileged children in the UK and third world areas. I LOVE this day, it is my favourite day in November without a doubt.

Everyone just has this real energy about them. I went out to the shops this morning and I saw school children dressing up in their favourite TV or Book characters to raise money. It was so adorable and brought back so many memories of me doing that :)

Unfortunately, tonight I am unable to watch the show due a leaving party I have to attend (Giles you don't have to leave us you know!). Also, I am so busy with university work I cannot go and help run the stalls at our local halls and shelters like I usually do. Safe to say I felt pretty bummed out.

Then yesterday I got an invitation to go to my local Children's Centre called Sure Start :) Before I went and did activities with the Children I was invited to a 'Help the Heroes' presentation. It was here I saw pictures, operations, videos of the war dead parades. I can honestly say it was harrowing. How an Earth do the soldiers do it? I just had so much admiration. Then the penny dropped...

I thought I was going down to the centre to help raise money for Children in Need. I was but today was also the day the children would be saying goodbye to their Daddies as they leave for Afghanistan. To be in a room of crying children being torn away from their fathers for a year was extremely hard. And the worst part? There was nothing I could do.

These were Children in Need of their Fathers. Safe to say after the soldiers left Pudsey Bear did cheer them up a little but I couldn't help but think how lucky I was to have my Dad around when I was little. They are the brave.

I have always thought of Children in Need as a brilliant day and it is. But it is also tinged with sadness for some.

Safe to say I am lucky to have Sky+ so you know what I will be doing for 8 hours on my Saturday off :)

Also, could you all send your thoughts and prayers to my blogging pal Patrice. Her sister has just been diagnosed with a mass in her hip and they are awaiting results to see if it is cancer. I know she would appreciate your hope.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

We Will Remember Them.

Silence is often a 'sound' I always remember but hardly ever hear. However, during the 2 minutes silence observed at 11.11am on this day it is all I want to notice. 

On this day I think of my great grandfather who fought and luckily survived in the royal air force serving his country. 

On this day I admire my paternal grandmother who gave up her dancing career to become a welder in order to contribute to the war effort. 

On this day I think of 'Charlie' a man I care for every weekend who fought with his four brothers together in 1917 on the battle field in Belgium. He was the only one to return home, blind and an only child once more.

On this day I think of my friend Frankie who is an army nurse in Afghanistan. Everyday she ventures out into the war zone to make sure the soldiers have their medications and are keeping fit. 

And in Flanders field where the Poppies blow, where all the war dead can now sleep and the Poppies will continue to grow.

On this day, I will remember and thank them all. They make me proud to be British knowing there were and are people like them who are willing to sacrifice it all. Happy Remembrance day.

We will Remember Them.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

For You, Friend

'And you help me realise that all the things I want to be...I already am.'

In a matter of a couple of weeks the 15 month streak of not seeing each other will end. I cannot wait to see you. I could curse you for living in Spain, I could resent you for still living in Spain. However, if it wasn't for that country I would never have met you.

I still remember the day we met in the pool. I believe we were playing sharks and you were tying to rescue us and take us to safety in a rubber yellow boat. Even at 15 we had slightly obscure imaginations. In fact, I clearly remember Hannah saying 'It is boiling hot and sunny, we could sunbathe and slide down the shoots all day and what do we do? Play Sharks, what else?!' I think I held one of the best conversations with you in that boat.

It was the day I got to know Oliver Braybrook - 'Oli ' :)

I think that day transcended a picket line of great conversations, laughter, arguments, tears and a vast collection of air miles between us in visits. You were my first love, read me my first love poem and took me go-carting for the first time ever. Yet, more importantly you were the first guy to genuinely take the time to just listen and be grateful for our company. You were the first guy to be really protective but at the same time let me just be who I wanted to be. I know that does not come easily.

Do you remember our first real argument? I do. We were sitting outside the Aloha bar and you felt that I had not told you "something". It was so petty I cannot even recollect what it was about. I just vividly remember crying and us storming off in different directions and wanting to get on a plane away from you because it was just not like us. And with all that set aside I treasure it because friendship isn't worth the tears unless the friend is. I treasure all the funny moments, all the moments I wanted to knock our heads together, all the tears shed and times laughed at. This is because I know in years to come we will be sitting somewhere just cracking up at all the memories we have made.

It doesn't matter where you are in the world Oli because I know that whatever path we take, we will carry a little bit of each other everywhere. There are times when I am frightened of my future and there have been times when the past has caught up with me. But you have stuck at your roots and remained at my side throughout it all. I trust that when people may shake me the hand of hope. I know you will always be tightly holding mine and I cannot thank you enough for that.

You will always be special to me. In fact, let me rephrase that. You are very special to me. It has been too long and I cannot wait to spend a whole weekend in your company.

How you have dealt with my female hormones? I will never know.

Could I ever forget you? You wouldn't let me if I tried :)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Is Love Blind?

I am not sure if there is a logical reason but over the last couple of days this question seems to have cropped up in my conversations, TV programmes, Radio and even my university newsletter. So I am interested as to what you think and why...

Is Love Blind?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

History Repeating Itself?

I am quite careful to talk about politics as I think it is a subject that can easily offend people if not respected in the right context. As a result, I very rarely bring it up with people, my blog or in general conversation.

However, there is a big political debate happening over here in the United Kingdom that may sound trivial to some but is of something highly important to me. 

As with many nations politics is built up around political parties and we vote for which one we support the most in terms of views, legislation and respect etc. In the UK we have smaller political parties and one of them is called The British National Party (BNP). They are a party who are will only allow white people to represent them, they believe in fascism and completely agree with war to sort out 'issues.' Maybe you can see why the British do not want them represented in parliament when they received 0.4% of the vote in the most recent elections. When over half that figure were actual members of the party itself.

In spite of this the debate that has circulated here is that on TV we have a popular and very insightful political show that airs weekly. It appeals to so many generations and is so easy to understand. It is actually what got me interested in voting and taking political stances :)

This week the BNP will be represented on this show for the first time ever since they came together in World War 2. There is outrage and protests because people do not want them on in their living room. It is costing the government out of our own tax money £2000,000 to protect them.

At first I was quite interested to hear they were going on. I wanted to hear their views. After all we don't all believe and vote for the same thing do we? I thought it was time they had their 'moment' as it were...until yesterday when the leader Nick Griffin said this:

'I am well aware that the orthodox opinion is that six million Jews were gassed and cremated and turned into lampshades. Orthodox opinion once held that the world was flat. I have reached the conclusion that the Holocaust was a tale and is a mixture of allied propaganda, extremely profitable lie and the witch-craft hysteria. It was the Holo-Hoax.'

How politically minded is someone to refer to people as being turned into Lampshades, seriously?

He also went on in his speech to say that there were no such things as gas chambers or concentration camps. I have friends who practice Judaism and are very hurt by this. Can you see why there is so much angst?

Below is a small clip of him talking about if he was in power he would send all people who are not British home to where 'they belong.'

I know that this post may lose some of my credibility but I and many others are so offended by his actions and words. I am not oblivious that these behaviours still exist today. Yet, this does not make me feel proud to be British knowing that they think they are representing Great Britain in all this. :(

I, for one, will not be tuning in tonight.

Friday, 16 October 2009

You made my day today you know...

Today has been a 'bleugh' day as I call it. I found out I passed my acute care module which was SO hard and I was over the moon. Nobody could have wiped the smile from my face. :)

It did.

Then my shift at my nursing placement just went manic! I had to deal with the rudest doctors I have ever encountered, relatives making formal complaints to me about the rudeness of the doctors, two people who I nursed a lot passed away without any real sign they were going too :(, the phone would not stop ringing off the hook, people were not following infection control precautions and I just felt completely suffocated. I did not know whether to laugh, explode or just cry!

I kept telling myself - this is not what Nursing should be like. Even though it will sometimes. At the end of my shift I felt for the first what I hadn't in a long while. Disheartened. Then I got home and logged into my emails. I saw this email from Steve that I very nearly deleted thinking it was spam. I praise anyone that I did not because it was the best email I have EVER received.

This speaks out to all Nurses I have ever met and all student nurses training. It spoke out to me wondrously and it truly has made my day.

Hey Rebecca!

I read your post about not knowing which of the many, many fields of nursing you want to enter -- that will come...  Sometimes it's not so easy deciding exactly how you want to help people when there are so many ways, and so many who need help...  You've got time -- even 10 years into your career you may find a perfect fit -- but you'll have been doing good things in the meanwhile...

I haven't read a lot of your posts, Rebecca -- but the few I have read show wonderful writing skills, and compassion...  I have a feeling that you're going to be an amazing nurse, whatever field or fields you choose...

You know I have cystic fibrosis -- and now I have two beautiful, new lungs...  I've been in and out of hospitals all of my life.  From my early teens until my transplant, about 30 years, I spent somewhere between 2 and 5 weeks hospitalized yearly...  I had hundreds of nurses who took incredible care of me.  I wish I could go back and thank every single one of them -- so many of them would be amazed that I'm still alive...  I'd like to thank them because each one of them had a hand in keeping me alive.  And I really kinda like being alive!

In your career, you've going to have days where you feel nursing is a thankless job -- you're going to be dealing with patients who are depressed and discouraged -- patients who are in pain -- patients who are just pissed off at the world and everything and everyone in it -- and then you're going to walk into the room wanting to give them some meds that might make them feel worse, give them a jab, do some procedure that will frustrate them further...  I've always done my bestest to be thankful for everything people like you have done for me -- and to smile and say "thank you"...  (Sometimes I think it was a good survival technique -- when my nurses knew that I was in pain, yet I could make eye contact with them, smile and thank them -- they always came running when I needed something...)  I also know that there were times when I was frustrated and didn't thank someone -- and I regretted it later...  But I know that, deep down, they knew how thankful I was -- and I knew that whatever they were doing, their goal was to try to help me...  I think about all those nurses often now -- and there will be people thinking about you in the future...

You take care...  I'm proud of you.  Why don't you think about the field of transplant -- we cover the bases from heart breaking to insanely rewarding -- sometimes all in one day...  Whatever field you enter -- I believe that you will be an awesome nurse...

Love, Steve

No matter how hard this training is there are always people out there, who we may have yet to meet, to make it feel 100% worth it. Thank you so much.

Have you ever received something that has just made you feel that what you do is completely worth it, even when the chips are down?

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Did you?

Did you always know what you were going to do career/job wise?

I did.

I was lucky.

Now I am stuck.

I have always wanted to be a Nurse or work in the medical profession for as long as I can remember. As I grew up it was either you played princesses or doctors and nurses with me. They were always the two choices, it was always the way...I started delegating early :)

I made sure I got the grades in the subjects I required for Nursing. I made sure I studied and revised the interview questions to get into nursing school. However, now I have no idea what branch of nursing I want to go into. Before, there was always a choice or virtually an easy answer. Now I feel like there is too much choice to choose from, which is a FANTASTIC attribute to the profession but at the moment I am struggling.

All my friends know what field of nursing they want to go into. However, I keep flitting - all the time. To the point I am going insane. I have to start applying next March for jobs and where do I begin to start? I know where I do not want to go but it doesn't narrow the list down. I guess I just want my first job to me memorable and a good start/choice to being qualified. :)

I know it comes across that I having a big vent but this is starting to worry me. I have been training for over two years now I still have no clue. One minute surgical, then palliative and then recovery...

In whichever career you are in or want to be in, was the choice hard for you as well?

Friday, 25 September 2009

Live in fear of helping others,

Heya everyone :)

I did something today that I pretty much vowed I would never do.

I signed up to the organ register and I did not find it at all easy coming to the decision. I can quite happily give blood when I can, do volunteer work and do anything related to helping save lives in my training. However, I just found the idea of doing this too much.

Whenever the subject of organ donation has come up I have pretty much coaxed myself out of talking about it. Why? Mainly because I do not want to make myself feel guilty. I remember one time a staff nurse said to me 'It is ludicrous that health professionals do not sign up to the organ donation because we aim to improve and save lives everyday, how is it any different to when we cease to live?'


I just hated the idea that when I passed away my body was still being operated on, even if it was to save a life. I hated the idea that I was making a decision about something after I died and at my age I certainly do not want to think about that yet.

However, yesterday I went and saw a lung transplant operation because the patient's cystic fibrosis has damaged hers. It was AMAZING! When the young lady came round from her operation she let everyone know that even though she was thankful to be alive, someone died to save her. It was then I decided to stop being fearful and sign up. It was the best and right decision :)

I told her today that I signed up and feel satisfied that I am doing something rewarding when I cease to live on Earth. I am not going to preach the idea here to everyone reading this because I can see why it is a taboo subject. However, one thing this young girl said to me will stay with me forever...

Sometimes we just have to open our eyes and stop living in fear of helping others when we know we can.

Are you on the register or have considered it?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

This is what shifted...

I have been reading the (in)courage posts and their ideas of hope, love, faith and motivation have been beautiful to read. I decided to do one for my based on someone very special to me.

When I was 5 years old my Granddad exhaled his last breath and he left behind a granddaughter who idolised him. Who still does. Still to do this very day I do not remember it vividly and I am not sure as to whether it was my age or the fact my hero had left this Earth not answering my never ending questions affected it. I am guessing it was both.

At the wake I clearly recollected everyone talking about the memories they shared, the quirky things he did and how he would remind everyone that strawberry season was looming. I remember sitting on a chair in my mandatory black dress with white roses emblazoned on the hem. I reminisced that it would have been better if they were tulips instead- his favourite flower. I didn’t comprehend it was then that I realised he wasn’t coming back to say goodbye. He wasn’t coming home to take me strawberry picking one last time. He was not returning to take the dogs out for yet another walk. He wasn’t visiting to tell me another story, another fairytale of what would happen in my life as I grew up.

He had a knack for that. He always knew what to say and for a five year old little girl who soaked in all his presence at every encounter I believed every word. Of course I was going to meet someone who would sweep me off my feet like the one in Snow White did. I was certainly going to work in the Castle Grove (pub) when I was older because that was where all the bouncy castles, slides and swings were. The fun radiated from that place every summer. And of course I was going to do well at school because they had an annual Grandparents day that I could show my Granddad how many gold stars I had accumulated that week. He told me I could travel the world, all I had to do was swim past the horizon on the sea and I would be in another country admiring the culture it had to offer. He was being harmless. He was the epitome of everything I had been told in story format, unknowingly, been made to believe. He instilled the drive and hope that all the above would happen and never falter. Fairytales did come true and all I had to do was wait…

Yet as I grew up I came to learn that instead of expecting school to come easily, instead of expecting I would find my dream career instantaneously, instead of expecting the right guy would turn up I was doing something that I had never been ‘taught.’


To wish for something with the expectation of its fulfilment.

Sometimes our hopes flourish and sometimes our hope just fades and we feel defeated.

Last week I mentioned something had shifted. I did not see the light and there was no dramatic change. Just my perspective, that’s all. I was on the beach reading a book called ‘How it Ends’ by Laura Wiess. It was a captivating read about a story of a teenage girl who just wanted to find love. The cant-live-without-each-other kind of love. Yet she didn’t realise that that love laid in the spirit of her adoptive grandmother who had weaved all these fairytales to hide the truth. The truth of her heart wrenching past on how hope ends and how it begins. How people are never who they seem but love you so much they are willing to go their grave just to make you happy.

I recall finishing that book and walking to the shoreline. I remember looking at the horizon identifying exactly what my Granddad had told me 14 years ago.

‘All you have to do swim to the horizon…’

When your five years old it is so easy to achieve that statement because he told me I could. He just forgot, behind his beautiful persona, that there will be many waves and sometimes I would be paddling forever. I could always hope to get to my destination but sometimes it is okay if you don’t.

Hope doesn’t come easily.

Yet, it is so easy to place hope in a sentence. I hope I pass my next test. I hope it does not rain today. I hope to get married and have children. I am sure you have reached a certain point in your life where you have felt hope had diminished?

It sounds trite and it may be pretty obvious. Then again if it is then why do we hope and wish in the first place?

Until now, I have realised that my Granddad has instilled something in me, innocently, that he left to work out for myself. I hoped my relationship with my ex worked out but now through the hope in knowing I will meet someone else someday, I realised that love was blind back then. I hoped that my second year of nursing would have come with more prosperity but instead the waves came crashing down on me. To point I felt like I was drowning and there was no hope of feeling like I would breathe again. I used to hope that my Granddad would come back and ‘explain himself’ as to why he made me believe such fairytales, such rubbish when I was in utter despair as to why I was so na├»ve to have believed him!

I may have been five but he made an impression that would last to this very moment in time.

Now I hope that he is sitting in a dainty strawberry field admiring that he did succeed in teaching me that, yes, life is about fairytales.

But only if you hope for the expectation of its fulfilment.

Not require for it to happen because you were told it would.

Hope is possible and I hope that what my Granddad told me will come true. I am not counting on it.

But it’s promising. =)

Now, can I hear an Amen Granddad on your 79th birthday? As you taught me the hard way and you know what? I love you so much for it and happy birthday!

Friday, 11 September 2009

The Day The World Stood Still.

I think it goes without saying that everyone knows this anniversary and what it signifies. I can only describe it as a day that really changed the world as a whole.

I cannot believe it was 8 years ago when truly it really only feels like yesterday it happened. It is one of those days where you knew exactly what you were doing and where you were. It was a day where you wished that what you were seeing on the screen and hearing on the radio was some horrible movie. I remember leaving school and just having that feeling in your gut that 'something' did not feel right. I remember panicking that something had happened to my family and when I heard the news I realised that what I had been fearing was happening to over 3000 other families. How can you even begin to try and comprehend that?

This was reality being laid out before our eyes and still is today a stark truth of a reminder as to what type of world we do live in. We all grieved and felt a huge sense of loss and no words will ever convey the hopelessness.

This morning I saw this image in the paper and I think for the first time I have felt a bit of pride on this day other than just loss. The victims were the heroes we miss terribly, and the thousands of people who tried to save them were the un-sung heroes whom we will thank forever.



A day I will never forget.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

You Asked & I Answered.

Hello all =)

Sorry it has taken me a while to get round to posting these answers. I haven't had the best of weeks since coming home from my holiday. One of my family friend's Jill was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. We are really shocked and my Dad who hardly ever shows any emotion is very upset. Also, one of my university friends was diagnosed with cervical cancer this week and she has to start treatment immediately which means delaying her senior year of nursing. I feel like life really is dealing myself and more so others a lot of heartache this week =(.

I thought the questions were really good and I enjoyed answering them so thank you =)

1) Would you like to visit America? by Anne-Marie.

Oh yes! I would love to especially when the USA have their holiday seasons. I'd love to visit Florida/LA in summer. New York at Christmas! I would love to go to Texas to see the space stations and Washington for it's history. Some of my close bloggy friends live in America and would love to meet them - we'll see!

2) If Wal-Mart sold happiness, where in the store would it be placed and why? By Jennie.

In the UK we do not have Wal-Mart but I want to go. I hear the deals they have all the time but we have a store called Debenhams over here which is similar. Happiness to me would be by all the smellies like perfumes, sprays and hair products etc. It is only because I love to smell good and yummy! I remember at school people would say 'If you were a flower I'd pick you!' well my take was 'If you were a good smell I would pick you' =)

3) If you could travel to any place in history where would it be and why? By Kaylee.

Two places and I cannot choose between them. I would go back to the civil rights movement that MLK led. I really enjoyed learning about it and would have loved to have been apart of something so defining for everyone, particularly Americans. The stories are amazing and I feel such pride knowing that one man and his dream made such an impact. I would also go back to the pre 1900 era purely for the clothes and the idea that women had to be seeked out by men. The mannerisms and demeanours by people back then are nothing compared to now. =)

4) Favourite book as a Kid and now an Adult? By Sam.

My favourite book as a kid was James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. This author captured my imagination in a heartbeat and when I finished I so wished peaches could fly! My favourite book now could not be any more different haha. It is a close call between To Kill A Mocking Bird and Pride and Prejudice which both reflect the eras in history I would love to go back to! I think Pride and Prejudice I like a bit more though because of the love story =)

5) If you choose anywhere to live where would it be an why? By Suki

Home is where the heart is and that is here in England. I love my home and I would be quite happy to live anywhere down south in the UK. I love living here but I think a nice place by the coast would be my ideal.

6) Did you enjoy school? How did you set about getting your qualifications? By Kristen.

I loved school!!! It took me a while to settle in but once I found my feet I loved every moment. I really do believe school are the easiest and best days of your life compared to the 'real' world as they say. I knew I wanted to go into healthcare so I made sure I got good grades in my sciences, math and health education classes. When I was 16 I had to go to college and I decided to do a Diploma in Health Studies rather than seperate classes called A-Levels. My diploma was the equivilent to 3 A-Levels. I am so glad I did it as it had 18 classes in it and it paved the way to Nursing. Then I applied to do my BSc Honors in Nursing at university and got in on the highest distinction level. I have been doing that for two years and I have one year left =)

7) How were the 'Birds and Bees' explained to you? (I only ask this because my 9 year old niece is asking me all sorts of questions!) By Kristen.

I'd say make sure her mum tells her first haha! I remember I was 8/9 when my Mum told me the full story. I had heard bits here and there at school, by friends, comments from the family etc. I remember it was a Saturday night and I was watching Casualty with my Mum and a girl on the show had been raped and not consented to sex. It was then I turned round to my mum and asked her. She told me it all but nothing too graphic (I learnt that in sex ed at 10 years lol). It wasn't the sex 'thing' that got me though as I kind of a had feeling that something had to happen between a man and woman for a baby. It was the period that scared the hell out of me! But I was pleased to find out that tampons weren't for nose bleeds that my Mum had been telling me haha!

8) How do you define love? By Kirsten.

Whenever someone asked me this I had a different array of sentences each time due to different experiences with guys. However, the 'definition' I go by now is this 'Love is just because...' I feel this rings true for me because in my last placement I was caring for a lady who was dying from cancer. Her husband had brought in a bunch of flowers and she asked him why he had done that. This was his reply 'I bought you a bunch of flowers just because I love you.' I just wanted my heart to burst because to me that completely defines love. I kissed you just because I love you. I held your hand just because I love you. I waited outside in the rain just because I love you. Love is just because...

I enjoyed that. It was fun and I hope you are all have a great weekend! x

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Home Sweet Home.

I am home.

I arrived back late last night after a very enjoyable and relaxing time in Turkey. I want to say I did loads of exciting things and explored but I didnt. I was very lazy, soaked up the sun, ate ice cream and fell in love with reading all over again.

The country itself is beautiful. The resort was lively and I felt at ease straight away. It was very HOT! It averaged about 45 degrees centigrade everyday. Suffice to say it was too hot to do anything touristy because it was all about a 3 hour drive away.

I loved everything about the holiday! The only let down was what I was pre-warned about. The Turkish men annoy the hell out of you. They pestered to the point of annoyance. You couldn't walk down the street without them grabbing you asking you for dates, to try their restaurant etc. Argh! I would still go again in a heartbeat though!!! The food, company, beach, weather and time spent was amazing.

You know when people say a night out is what they needed, a good meal in them was what they needed or just a big hug was what they needed. This break was just what I needed. Time out. A chance to just get away. Something shifted in me during this holiday and I will share with you soon. In the mean time I hope you like some of pictures =)

Turkey 2009...I miss you already.

~ By the way thank you for your questions from the last post. I will answer them soon =). I still have some emails from some lovely people who asked so need to ponder over them. If there is anything you would love to know about me then just leave a comment or send me an email. Have a lovely week!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Sun, Sea & Sand.

I am off on holiday today - to Turkey! It's an eastern european country that has lots of sun, lots of beaches, lots of sunsets and mostly lots of relaxation. I am cannot wait!!! I will be back in a week to give you an insight to what shall be a very lazy holiday =)

I know a lot of bloggers have done this so I thought I would do the same. If there is anything else you would like to know about me just leave a question and I will answer it. It's that simple. You ask and I will happily answer on any topic =)

I cannot believe it is the end of August already - can you?!

Ben sizi guzeli ve buyuk bir hafta!!!

Lots of lovely love.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Are you Flaw-less?

Hello all =)

I am never one to admit I have flaws or insecurities because they just make me feel - rubbish. It is a no go area.

However, at work earlier I saw this book one of the residents was reading. It was called 'Having Flaws leaves you Flawless.' It basically discussed that every once in a while we should all say what our flaws, insecurities and imperfections are to make us realise we are all human. At first I was really skeptical because I kind of find it de-humanising and reduces self esteem in a way. Yet, this book explains that realising 'we are all in the same boat' actually empowers us to accept ourselves more. Whether little or big we all have the ability to admit we aren't as 'perfect' as we or society try to be...

So I am going to give it a try:

  • I over-analyse everything. The whole 'why hasn't he called me yet?' routine has been played multiple times.
  • I always read the last page of a book, even if it ruins the story.
  • I hate my thighs! They are flabby and feel like jelly when running.
  • I don't exercise as much as I like people to think.
  • I tend to swear or curse more than usual. =(
  • I can never find jeans that fit 'just right.'
  • I am concious of how my hair looks all the time.
  • I have the uncanny ability to speak before I think.
  • I hate to admit I am wrong.
  • I hate it when people talk about how amazing their relationships are as it just highlights I haven't found 'Mr Right' yet.
  • I am not a good driver and never will be.
  • I am a type A personality to the tee - such a perfectionist.
  • I am OCD about cleanliness, angles and things being alphabetical.
  • I love my memory and penalise myself if I forget a birthday, anniversary or anything.
  • I like to give too much and it hurts when it isn't reciprocated.
Yet there is just one thing...

Can any of you relate?
What are your flaws?

Monday, 17 August 2009

Obama's Health Reform - Yes/No?

Firstly, before setting out and reading this post I am in no intention of offending anyone. I am not American. Obama is not my president and I will not be affected largely by this policy. I would like this to be a public forum where one another's opinions are respected. I have researched as much of Obama's reform as possible and there is too much to point out (this man likes to talk! lol). I have recieved many emails and messages from you and people I have never met asking for my thoughts. So I am just going to talk about the healthcare in the UK and some basic knowledge that I know of as I know Obama has likened it to our healthcare policies.

Also, if any bloggers are from outside America how does your healthcare system work?!

I am a fairly socialist person and I have always been in favour of socialism. I hate the conservative party here in the United Kingdom and their policies are very similar to the republicans in the USA. Although, there is one thing I am very happy about and that is both political parties here believe that healthcare should be entirely free and if we want to take out private medical insurance we can, but we pay for it ourselves.

This is the jist of what I make out from the reform Obama is trying to set in motion:

Positives - Everyone would recieve healthcare that is affordable, the reform will save each family around $2500 a year, everyone would get the medications that they need, more money for technology, research and advancing care.

Negatives - It will cost a lot of money to do this - around $65 billion a year I found, there may be increased wait times for appointments e.g. scans etc because of the widespread coverage anticipated, insurance companies may go under and not very many benefits to the elderly.

I have very mixed emotions as the positives sound brilliant and the negatives look pretty grim - as with all political bills. I have two family friends who have moved back from the States because they simply could not afford their healthcare plans, even though they were the cheapest. There is also a client I see regularly who comes just to the UK from the the States for his medical checks every six months because it saves him $3000 a year - even with visa, flights etc.

My work friend Natasha was involved in a car accident in Colorado. She serverly fractured her ankle and when she arrived in ER they wouldn't see her until she produced her documents. She had to wait in the reception area with a bone sticking out for her ankle, in absolute agony, whilst her friend took the hour's journey to her home to get her health plans. All the medical team did was put a blanket over her ankle so it wouldn't scare other people. Is that responsible? Is that deemed efficient healthcare? Because I think that is disgusting.

My next door neighbour's aunt is receiving chemotherapy in Washginton at the moment. Her health plan doesn't cover her next lot of treatment and she cannot afford to increase it. So she is now awaiting palliative care as they cannot treat her cancer any longer unless she can raise funds privately to pay for it. I cried my eyes out when I heard this. This woman is dying but she can be saved?!

I do not want to base this solely on indivudual experiences that I know of. I know that when American healthcare is done well it is outstanding. Far better than what we have in the UK but I feel these stories should be fiction not fact.

Here in the United Kingdom we have the National Health Service and I could not live without it! I could not be more thankful that I can go to a hospital appointment, get a prescription, be admitted to a ward, have surgery etc and it be completely free of charge at that moment in time. It does sound too good to be true doesn't it?!

It has its flaws and it does cause debt but it saves lives by the millions. Everyone who is employed over here pays national insurance tax monthly. If you are unemployed then it is taken off the benefits you get. The more you earn the more you pay - which I do feel is justified because if not there would be no such thing as good healthcare to me. I have cared for insanely rich people (very jealous! lol) and people who earn more than the average. All have said they are so thankful that the NHS operates as it does, because even though they have private medical plans if an emergency happens they cannot call their insurance company to sort out something immediately - it takes time and in many cases time is of the essence!

Within the NHS here we have the 18 week rule. This means from the moment you go to your doctor about any problem and it needs further assessment e.g. scans, surgery etc then the government have 18 weeks for it all to be cured or treated successfully within. If it does not happen then this is an NHS breach and then we have access to free private medical treatment. This rule works brilliantly and I hardly see any breaches in the trusts I and others have worked for.

I know I am not in the know like many of you are. I am not completely slamming the republicans view either. This reform is very exspensive! Although when Palin said the reform was 'evil' I was taken aback by it. I know I haven't covered half of Obama's health reform policy but I just wanted to share with you what a complete outsider to America is thinking. I am not saying I am correct but I am not misguided either. My healthcare policy here at home has saved my life - literally. Healthcare to me is not about how much a person pays, whether they have their documents at hand or selecting who recieves what type of care or not.

In many ways I do agree with this reform and I do think it will have a lot of benefit. I can completely see how this is scary. Obama wants a complete overhaul and I do not blame opposition to this.

So...Do you fix the old or go with the new?

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