Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 27/3

This Hodgepodge looks fun! If you want to take part (I know you want to right?) then answer these questions and link back on Joyce's blog every Wednesday!

1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner?  Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service?  Eating too much chocolate?

Oh all those sound fun but I'm working- boo! Luckily I finish at half two so will come home and all my family will be over for Sunday lunch. Simon and I will be swapping our Easter Eggs we have bought each other too. Otherwise, Easter is quite low key in my house hold. 

2.  What is something you feel too young to do?


I would say right now it's having kids. My Mum was my age now (24) when she started having children and I just think how did you do that? I also have many friends who have babies/toddlers and major kudos go out to them! I think I am still in quite a selfish time of my life where children would be a hindrance rather than a blessing. One day...but still feel too young at the moment.

3.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  

Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?


Most definitely the last one - love...keeps no records of wrongs - only because I am quite a judgemental person and I hold grudges easily. There have been a few times with Simon and with friendships too where, when I have been upset/hurt or angry, I hold people accountable for their (in my view) bad actions  Even if it happened years ago I will dredge up their wrong doings despite whether they have learnt. I have got a lot better since I started nursing and I am very aware of it now being in a relationship with Simon. But it is something I will hold my hands up to being guilty of. 

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?


It would be silly not to mention the Daffodil  I remember at school we had to wear a Daffodil in March to represent Marie Curie (raising awareness for cancer). I also love snow drops! They're popping up everywhere at the moment. 

5.  Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you? 


I have only done Karaoke twice! Once when I was on holiday years ago and the last time on my 18th birthday. We sung Queen - Don't stop me now. My friend has the video which is awful to watch but we did get a few people dancing. 

6. What is something you keep in a basket?

Does washing to be ironed count?

7.  When was the last time you felt foolish?


I think I feel a little foolish for minor things every so often. I think the last time I felt really foolish was when I did my Immediate Life Support study day last month. The instructor was asking questions and even though I knew the answer I still looked at him blankly. I have always had this unnerving question of "what if it is wrong?" and then I would really look like a fool. It's a battle I always have with myself in situations like that. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.


Last month I posted that I'm thinking of going to the Caribbean next year. Well due to finances and this thing called a 'mortgage' that we're saving up for it probably won't happen. However, we are thinking of doing a long weekend away in a European city. We're toying between Amsterdam, Venice or Cannes/Saint Tropez? Anyone been?

Monday, 25 March 2013

Jambalaya!

Over the past year Simon and I have been trying new recipes. We eventually found a whole load we really liked and rotate them every so often. As a result we don't try new recipes as much any more. But last night we tried Jambalaya and it sure was yummy!

I always thought Jambalaya sounded a complicated dish to make. But it is honestly one the EASIEST and QUICKEST dishes I have ever cooked. I think it will be a firm favourite of ours for a while. I want to share it with you all and get your taste buds going!

Chicken Jambalaya - Serves 2

Ingredients

2 handfuls or 2 cups of rice (any rice you like but long grain is what we used)
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 green pepper de-seeded and chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped (or garlic puree is fine)
1 onion chopped
(you can choose any extra vegetables you want in it. The recipe we used recommended celery, aubergine or courgette but we had mushrooms to use up so we used them)
1 packet of Cajun spice mix
1 tablespoon of olive oil
425ml of chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarians)
1 Chicken breast cubed or stripped (We actually used beef instead because we had beef to use up. But you can have you any meat of your choosing from fish, prawn, turkey, chorizo, sausage- anything!)


How to cook?
  • Heat up the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and then add the meat. Cook until sealed, then remove from the pan and reserve.
  • Then add the chopped onion, garlic, pepper and any other vegetables you have chosen into the heated pan. Cook this for a couple of minutes and then add the packet of Cajun spice mix and the rice. Cook for a further two minutes until the vegetables and rice are fully covered in the mix.
  • Once this is done you then add the stock and chopped tomatoes. Stir well into the mix and then simmer on a medium heat for 25 minutes.
  • 5 minutes before the cooking time is up add your reserved meat (or have a vegetarian jambalaya!) and stir well in.
  • Serve and gobble it up.
Just one tip I have is when it's cooking for 25 minutes do stir occasionally. Otherwise the rice will stick to the bottom and not absorb the juice.

If you cook it please tell me what you think. It's a really cheap meal too. It costs me about £6 for all the ingredients. Can't wait to have this again!


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spring is here Hodgepodge!






I think Spring has finally started to settle here in dreary old England! I woke up this morning at 6am and it was day light outside, not damp darkness! Plus, the birds were singing - hopefully lighter evenings and warmer days are upon us!


1. March 20th is the first day of spring...is she a lion or a lamb in your part of the world? 

I would say a Lamb in my part of the world. 

2. What's the most dreaded task on your spring clean to-do list?  Do you have a 'plan of attack'?

Funnily enough I had a bit of a spring clean yesterday. I cleaned out all my drawers and wardrobe of clothes I just don't wear any more. Guess I need to shop to fill those empty spaces up now right?

3. Peas...love 'em or hate 'em?  What's a favorite dish you make using peas?

I like peas. I don't love them as they're not my favourite vegetable. They're also not the healthiest of veggies because of their above average sugar content. I do love them with fish and chips though- I can't not have them with that dish!

4.  Do you feel under appreciated?

I guess I am 50/50 with this one. Yes, they're days where I feel like I work my backside off and don't even get a simple thank you. There are times where I think I am really flexible with my shifts at work and let my managers swap and change them around last minute. But when I request a shift and they get a bit funny I think 'gee thanks!' Yet on the whole I feel like I am appreciated most of the time from my boyfriend, family, work and patients which I cannot complain about at all.

5. Have you been using Google Reader?  If so, what are you switching to now that GR has announced retirement?  If not, how do you read your favorite blogs? 

I just use blogger to look up blog posts. But I have signed up to Bloglovin just in case they decide to get rid of that!

6. Anne Bradstreet is credited with the following quote~

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;  if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." 

Agree or Disagree?  Why?

I 100% agree with this. I think we have to go through certain storms, trials and tribulations in order to know what 'good' feels like to us. I also think it allows us to appreciate what we have and look forward to the pleasant times a lot more. 

7.  When did you last 'spring for something'?  What was it?

This may be gross but I was taking a drain out of patients knee today. When I can honestly say it sprung a leak with blood protruding everywhere. I sprung for the gauze and sterile wipes like  a mad woman!

8.  Insert your own random thought here?

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I did not know what to get my nephew for his first birthday next month. I decided to get him a paddling pool (which is suitable for 1 year olds). I also bought a bag of balls so he can covert the pool into a ball pit for the winter months! I hope he likes it.

Also, my cousin turns 18 today. I remember the day she was born which makes me feel really old. Have an awesome day Helen!

Picture of us from 2009.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Run Becca Run!

Last month I posted about how Simon and I are taking part in a 10k run for The British Heart Foundation this coming October.

I do not have a running or fitness bone in my body. But 10k is not something I will be able to achieve without training. I attempted the gym for about year until I got bored of going. I tried Zumba classes for a couple of months until they started changing their poky schedule so it didn't coincide with my shift pattern. I did spin classes for a short time too but soon decided that doing spin class on a Friday night was a no go.

You see these are excuses. I start something and then after a very short while I give up and try something new. I wish I could just stick with it!!!

Signing up for this 10k is something that I have to stick with. People will be sponsoring us and benefiting from the money, family will be coming down on the day and I want to be able to give something back to charity through something I have worked hard over. I can't give up!

10k is roughly about 60 to 75 mins of running depending on your speed and the distance covered. One of my old colleagues took part in the NHS Couch to 5k and now she is doing a half marathon this summer!!! I knew I had to get on this bandwagon. 

Couch to 5k is a series of FREE pod casts you can download from the NHS website. You are guided by a girl called Laura. She's really nice and she basically tells you when to run and when to walk. It's that simple. All she asks is that you find three 30 minute slots of your time each week to complete a run. It starts off really easy and then gradually as each week passes (in total it's a 10 week programme) the runs increase in length and recovery breaks are shorter. It's almost like having your own personal trainer without the cost!

Download the Couch to 5K podcasts

Before I signed up to the 10k I had started this plan three times. I started last November but then went to Australia so that ended on week one. I then restarted the running plan again last December but then Christmas got in the way/seeing family etc. So what did I do? I gave up! I decided to make it a new years resolution (I actually laughed as I typed that as they never work). So in mid January I started it for a third time but then the snow came and there was noway I was running in snow/ice. So you can guess what happened? I stopped it.

I really started to beat myself up about it because I only had myself to blame. Last year I gained nearly a stone in weight (I refer to it as happy boyfriend weight) but I really want to lose it again. So signing up to the 10k is not just about raising money for charity for me. It's also trying to make me feel fitter and less tired all the time.

So just before my birthday I started again and I REFUSED to give up this time. I am a morning runner. I like going out when it's fresh, the kids are in school, people out at work and I can run around the lake to myself. I make sure I run at least once at the weekend and ensure I do at least 2 late shifts during the week at work. So that means I run three times a week.

I am now on week 6. I can run for 20 minutes without stopping and I am so proud of myself. I have four weeks left of the plan until I should be fit enough to run a full 5k. Afterwards I will then add another minute to each of my runs to get me to 10k standard.

Download the strength and flexibility podcasts

The funny thing is I actually look forward to my runs now. I feel so much better getting out in the fresh air, and even though at the time of running I find it a little tough at times, I feel so amazed that I CAN actually do it. At the beginning I felt quite self-concious of running and what other people thought of me when they drove by. After a while you forget that and I think that's why I like morning running because less people are about too!

I've realised that it's not that my body can't run. It was me telling myself I couldn't. Hopefully in 4 weeks I will be telling you guys I can run for a full 30 minutes! If you want to take part I urge you to do it because if I can you certainly will. For more information on the running plan click here.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This will not be an easy post to write as it brings up so many horrible memories. But I have wanted to write about it so many times too. To show that people aren't alone, can resonate and seek help. This is a long post but I need to write about it. 

When I was 17 I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). You can read more about it here. But in a nutshell it's a mental disorder where people develop an obsession with something unpleasant and form a compulsive behaviour, normally in the form of rituals, to prevent the obsession from happening. It can range from very mild to very extreme. I think I was in the middle when suffering from it badly but once I sought help and counselling I would say I have a mild form now. 

I remember first hearing about OCD when I was 15. There was an article about a man who had to have six pieces of every food item in his fridge and they had to be in symmetrical rows. Plus, he had an obsession about angles and the symmetry of his furniture in all his rooms. He did all this tp prevent people close to him from dying. I will be honest when I read it I thought 'what a freak!'

Little did I know that something very similar would happen to me the following summer. In the summer of 2005 I was revising for my GCSE exams. I was SO nervous because I had to pass Mathematics and Math is my worst subject. I had spent the 3 months previous every Friday after school with my tutor doing extra Math classes. I did every Math test for 16 year olds Google could offer. If I didn't pass I could not get onto my college class and without a pass in Math you can't get onto a degree in nursing. I had to pass. 

When the night before my exam rolled around (16th June 2005 to be exact) I felt okay. I was nervous but felt like I had crammed enough. Then during that night my sister, brother and Mum came down with a sickness bug. I FREAKED! All I could think about was how I could not get ill before this exam. I had worked too hard for it and I did not sleep a wink. My exam was in the afternoon and that morning I spent half of it washing my hands vigorously, washed my hair twice and locked myself in my room when I wasn't in the bathroom. I remember looking up on the internet about how fresh air made people feel better so I had my windows wide open. No germs were getting near me!

As I typed that last paragraph I just realise just how insane and over paranoid I was being. On the way to my exam I bought some hand sanitiser just to minimise the risk. Just before I went in for the exam I started feeling really sick. Instead of associating it with butterflies in my tummy I made myself think that I had the stomach bug. I remember panicking and crying so much that a friend of mine gave me a mint to suck on to take my mind off it. It helped - or I made myself think it helped. 

After the exam I went back to the shop I bought the hand sanitiser at and paid for a whole bag of mints. The exam went much better than I expected but I still had to make my way back to an infected house. I still had some exams left and I did not want to get ill. 

And so the rituals began.

I washed my hands so many times. I washed them 2-3 times after using the toilet, touching a towel anyone had used and cutlery they may have touched. I had it in my head that if I did this then I would not get sick. 

Even once my exams were over and my siblings were better I still carried on. As I put it in my head that the reason why I did not get ill was because I stuck to my rituals.

I felt under control but then I started more obsessive things.

The light switch was one. I remember about a month after my exams ended I flicked off the switch to go to bed. But I didn't flick the switch off very well so I flicked it off again. And again. And again. Until I reasoned with myself that if I turned it on/off 10 times then it felt 'right'.

Then a couple of weeks later my Dad came down with a sickness bug. I went into panic mode. So I started washing my hands 3-4 times to make them extra clean and I had to have my window wide open at night to let the fresh air in. As remember that article I read about people feeling better with fresh air? I still lived by that! By now it was late summer and I was chilly at night but I did not care. I could not get sick. 

I really start to sound delusional now, but I really thought at the time that if I stuck to these rituals then I would be okay. 



The last ritual tipped me over the edge. And I guess this is where my Mum had found me out so to speak. At this point I had started college and passed my Math exam. I remember coming home from my first day and my Mum saying that the neighbours opposite had forgotten to shut their door properly. So it was open whilst they were at work all day. At the time when she said it did not mean anything.

But the next day when I left my house to walk to the bus stop it meant a lot. I walked back to my house three times to double check that I had closed the door properly. I had missed my bus to college but every time I left my road I just had this feeling that I had to double check again. Even though I knew it was closed I just had this sense of urgency to keep checking. I remember when I was at college I was worried that the door was not shut right and my concentration span was down to zero. I worried all the way home if we had been burgled because I had not shut the door correctly. 

So everyday:
  • I washed my hands 4-5 times after using the toilet (sometimes more in public toilets). Used hand sanitiser after touching door handles other people had used. And I had my own towels to wash with at home.
  • I slept with the window wide open to allow the "fresh/clean" air to get in.
  • Turned on/off light switches a minimum of ten times.
  • Checked my front door was locked several times. (only my house not others)
I did this everyday, twenty four seven for about 5 months. Then just after my 17th birthday my Mum came into my room very worried. She said a neighbour of ours had come to our front door because every morning (apart from weekends) she would see me walk up and down the road 3-4 times. She was concerned if I was safe to walk to the bus stop and if I was trying to boycott going to college. 

Also, my Mum said she could hear me every night turning off my light switch lots of times. Also, by this point I had started asking my family to turn off light switches and close doors because it saved me having to do my rituals. I was getting so tired of doing them but I knew that if I stopped then it be just my luck I would get sick or my house would be burgled. My hands were so cracked and sore from the amount of times I washed them and I was easily going through a bottle of hand sanitiser a week. 

I broke down and voiced it all to my Mum. It was the first time in my life that my Mum had cried with me. I felt so CRAZY explaining all this stuff to her that she did not understand. I felt a little relief but mainly mortification that I had been 'found out.' My Mum booked me an urgent Drs appointment for the next day and having to voice it all over again was even more upsetting. I honestly felt like a lunatic! It all started off because my sibling got a sickness bug and I escalated to the point I felt so suffocated in my life. In fact, it was taking over my life. But I did feel better there was a diagnosis for it. I had OCD and when I researched more about it I didn't feel like such a crazy person. I was not alone and it felt so good to know that.

I started seeing a counsellor the following week and I saw her for a couple of months. Instead of curing the problem we looked at ways I could minimise my compulsive behaviour. So my Mum always turned off my light switch at night so I didn't have to. I was allowed to have my window open but my Mum would close it when she went to bed. I asked other people to open doors for me so I didn't have to touch door handles. My Mum drove me to the bus stop in the morning and ensured that someone else closed and locked the front door so it wasn't my responsibility to. I still washed my hands a silly amount and used hand sanitiser but it was progress!

The main thing was I wasn't developing new rituals. I was getting better at making my current ones more liveable. Once it was all out in the open it was so good to not be secretive. When I was going through my really bad phase I found it hard work to be obsessive without other people realising. It was exhausting! My counsellor said it would take a couple of years to overcome OCD or lose some of my compulsions.

She was right. Now...
  • I wash my hands like normal people. Just once with antibacterial hand wash. It took 4 years to whittle it down but I now have nice and normal looking hands. 
  • I only use hand sanitiser at work and I HATE using the stuff but for infection control purposes at work I do. 
  • I still have to wash using my own towel.
  • I still have my window open at night but in the winter it's open just a little bit. I don't think I will ever grow out of this one.
  • I turn off lights twice now. I am happy that it's gone from 10 on/off switches to just two. Again, I think it will stay like this.
  • With doors I try to make sure I am the first out the door so I don't need to be the one to lock/shut it. But when I leave for work I can't work around this so I just shut the door and don't look back. By the time I reach work it's out of my mind because work is so busy I have no time to think about a door I shut. 
Since I was diagnosed I think there has been a lot more talk around the subject of OCD. Instead of it being something they steer clear of talking it's talked about more openly. Even some celebrities have revealed their OCD-ness, like David Beckham said he has to have food stacked/lined perfectly in cupboards and fridges. I have seen programmes on extreme cases of OCD which are so sad to watch but I 'get' it and what they're going through.

I think everyone has something they are a little OCD about. But I let it go too far to the point it was affecting my daily life and thinking processes. I will always have OCD on certain things but it is so much more controllable now. 


Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Colourful Hodgepodge!

It's that time of the week again for Wednesday Hodgepodge. If you want to take part answer the questions below and link back to Joyce's blog by clicking the picture below. Here we go...



1. Do you play games of luck/chance for money? Have you ever played bingo for money? Visited a casino?  Placed a bet on a horse? Bought a lottery ticket?
Not really. I have done all the above at least once but I do not do it regularly at all. I tend to find it a waste of money. The only thing I have ever won is £30 on a horse racing bet last year and a tenner on a lottery ticket my Gran bought me for my 18th.

2.  Will you be preparing and/or dining on the traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage meal this St. Patrick's Day? Mashed-baked-hash browned-french fried...your favorite way to have potatoes?
Sadly, I'm working on St.Patrick's day but also I am not Irish so don't feel a need to celebrate it. I do love seeing all the celebrations and food banquets they put out though. One thing that is slightly annoying is when people call it St.Patty's day? Since when was St.Patrick a girl? The nickname for Patrick is Paddy!!! So St.Paddy's day is okay but not St.Patty! I work with an Irish guy at work who says many of his Irish family take offence to it because it is their patron saint your're shortening the name and sex of. Okay rant over.  On the potato front I love a baked potato!

3. What's the last thing you felt 'green with envy' over? 
I get jealous very easily over the simplest things. I was really jealous yesterday when all the early shift staff went home at half two but I had to stay on and do a 14 hour shift. Not fair and it sucked. 

4.  What's at the end of your rainbow?
To have a life that is not masked by ill health would be my pot of gold! Of course I'd love marriage, children and live in a safe environment but I want to be healthy and alive to enjoy all that. 

5. March 12th marks the anniversary of the death of Anne Frank (June 12, 1929-March, 1945).  Anne's diary detailing her time spent hiding from the Nazi's during the war ranks as one of the best selling books of all time.  Besides your blog, do you keep any sort of diary or journal?  Was this a habit you developed as a child or is journalling something new for you?
I never journalled as a child or as I grew up. I was always one of those kids who wished I kept a diary. When I started blogging it was completely new to me and I love it. In 2010 I completed project life, where you take a photo for a year and capture it in a photo album. I really want to do it again at some point! Below is the video of when it was half completed. 


 

6. What's an item in your home or closet that contains every colour of the rainbow?
Until last year I had a summer halter-neck top that was all colours of the rainbow  Now I just have a pair of socks that are rainbow striped!

7.  Write a limerick with you as the subject.  You can do it!!  Just remember this is a family friendly blog...don't make me get out my wooden spoon. 
I really struggled doing this when I saw the questions yesterday. In my break I even tried writing some things down but nothing rhymed with my name or where I lived. I mentioned this challenge to one of my patients and when I went to give him his medications last night he gave me this limerick. It's SO GOOD I have to share!!!! He's talking about an experience from a previous hospital stay because...well that's not my name.


There was a young female nurse called Cecelia,
Who would work like a Dog just to heal ya.
Except she would not,
Touch a needle for a shot.
Because she had haemophilia!

I showed it to my ward manager who has kept it and put it on the staff notice board. I think being a nurse does have it benefits for Hodgepodge!


8. Insert your own random thought here.
I loved celebrating Mothers day last Sunday. I got her a huge bunch of flowers and we took her out for a nice lunch with my Gran. It's made me realise I need to spoil her a little more often! Also my blog friend Jenna is hosting this fun give-awayyou'd be mad not to enter!!!


Sunday, 10 March 2013

Mama

I love Mothers Day. I love celebrating my Mum. I have said it so many times on this blog and I will always repeat it. My Mum is my favourite person and without a shadow of a doubt - I would not be who I am today without her. 


Last month I went and saw Viva Forever, a musical based on songs by the Spice Girls. At one point in the musical Viva has to leave home and she sings the song 'Mama' to her Mum. When it was being sung, all I could think about was my Mum. In the next year or so I will be leaving home and it's not my bedroom, my house or my road that I'll miss. It'll be living without my Mum. All my life I have lived knowing she was just across the landing if I needed her, and in reality in my future she will be about 45 minutes away.


She says it's all part of growing up and that's true. But one thing I do know. I want to grow up with her always in my life because I cannot live without her. I've done posts talking about everything she has done for me and my siblings, and how she has supported me through all my life's trial and tribulations. Yet, this song says everything that I want to say to her and so much more. It's says how I am sorry for all the times I was a pain in the backside and treated you like my enemy. When in truth you're one of my biggest supporters. It says how much I love you for being the Mum I have always needed. And it says thank you for always being at the other end of the phone, the other side of the front door and next to me on my bed when I have needed a cuddle with you.


I know today may also be a tough day for some people as their Mums are no longer with us. But I want them to know that no matter what, if your Mum is here on Earth or flying in spirit above us. You still have a Mum and you can always celebrate her!

Happy Mothers Day Mum, I'm so happy I am your daughter and I always will be.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Blahgah


I very rarely advertise on my blog but this really is an exception. An old childhood friend of mine - Vicki - set up her own jewellery line last year. She makes all the jewellery herself and I am seriously blown away by some of the jewellery she makes. 


She works full time but does this little business on the side. She's a fashionista and has a serious talent for making her pieces.

I would love it if you could check out her Etsy Store, like her Facebook page or even better if you like any of her collection purchase something. Her jewellery is perfect for presents and are a really good price too! So if you have a birthday to buy for that's coming up here is the place to look. Below is a little taster of her creations.

 
 
Courtesy of Blahgah Jewellery 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge 6/3

Welcome to the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  


1. My real life friends came through with another question this week so thank you real life friends. When you've eaten in a restaurant do you complete their comment card? Do you take online surveys highlighted at the bottom of store receipts? 

We don't really have comment cards over here, well not in the restaurants I've been in anyway. I do take their money off vouchers though and sometimes they leave cards to join their mailing lists too - which I complete if I know I will go again.

2. The (US) ban on women in combat was lifted at the end of January. It will probably be next year before specifics are worked out, but its been reported over 200,000 front line positions will eventually open up to women.  Your thoughts? 

Think it's been a long time coming? I think women are just as vital to the front line as men are. I think it's always good to have equal skill and gender mix on different job roles. I think it's a really good thing and will make the army a lot more diverse!

3.  In looking back at all the blog posts you've written, what's your favorite post-title

Well that certainly made me look through my 400 blog posts. There were some I liked but I loved this one. 'Frogs and Snails, and Puppy Dog tails...' - this was from when I announced my nephew had been born last year. I loved basing it on the nursery rhyme and felt it was more fitting than 'I'm an Auntie! because we didn't know what Cohen was until he was born!

4. What's worse-overly permissive parents or overly protective parents?  Did your own parents lean more to the permissive or the protective category?  If you're a parent where do you fall? 

I think both are as bad as each other but even though I am not a parent I can see that it would be very difficult to strike a balance between the two! My parents tend to be more protective as I have never known them to be permissive with my siblings and I. I just turned 24 and my Mum still has to know where I am going, who with and when I'll be home. I would much rather she be like than then not care about my whereabouts at all.

5.  Candlelight-moonlight-firelight-bright lights in the big city...which one's your favorite? 

I'd have the say moonlight. I find it a lot more romantic and calming, plus I don't have to light anything!

6. Dr. Seuss's birthday was celebrated on Saturday. What's a favorite book you remember (Seuss or otherwise) from your own childhood?  Did books play an important role in your growing up years? Explain. 

It's strange because I remember at primary school my teacher reading us 'Cat in the Hat' and thinking how dull! Then she read us 'Horton hears a Who' and 'How the Grinch stole Christmas' which I thought were brilliant. I think it was because they had more interesting and different plot lines! I loved reading books as I grew up and the older I have got the more I appreciate the talent that goes into writing one. I think captivating a person's interest and imagination through words is an extraordinary gift!

7.  To quote Dr. Seuss...
"From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere." 
from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Share something funny you've recently read, seen or heard.  

My friend Ines sent me this picture on Facebook the other morning. 

So true!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My nephew turns one years old next month (I still can't believe he is turning one!) but I really have not a clue what to get him. Anyone have any ideas? I know he won't remember me getting him a present but I still want it to be special. 


Here's the soon to be one year old !

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The Help

I think I am a little late joining this bandwagon of The Help. I remember when the book came out and kept thinking I must check it out. Then the film came out and I kept thinking I must see it. Admittedly, I did try watching it flying back from California last March but was too tired 15 minutes in.

Then yesterday I came home from work and my Mum and sister were watching it. I knew it was The Help because I remember the scenes I gave up watching on my flight home last year. So I sat down to watch it with them. I have not in a very long time watched an entire movie at home without pausing it, finishing to watch it later or giving up on it entirely. I don't have a long attention span to watch films so they're not what I watch a lot of in my spare time.

But the longer I watched The Help the more swept up into the story I became. For those who don't know the plot I'll give a little explanation now. It's set in deep south Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement and when segregation existed. Skeeter is a white girl and an aspiring writer. She wants to interview the maids (who are black and dubbed the Help by white people) who raise white children as part of a book she wants to write. She wants to gain their perspective on what it's like raise other peoples babies and not they're own, their views on the segregation and their hopes for the future. It's quite controversial because it was illegal back then for any black man or woman to give interviews or be allowed to even express opinion to a white person. 

It was funny, heartbreaking and I can honestly say I had to keep catching my breath. As tired as I was getting (it finished at 00.30am) I just knew I had to keep going until the end because it was worth it. I loved learning about American history at school and the Civil Rights Movement was my favourite part to learn about. Simply because something like that was so alien to me and the UK come to think of it. I really think this film should be used as a learning tool when teaching students about segregation and the treatment of people like The Help back then. It depicted it so well!

It's safe to say I'll be reading the book now. It's been a long time since a film has had such an effect on me. The last films were The Kings Speech and The Blind Side that made me think 'wow that was extraordinary!'' Whether you read the book or watch the film. Trust me it's 141 minutes you won't feel that's wasted. 




Always remember 'You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important' - Aibileen. 


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