Friday, 13 November 2015

A small step along the road

Last year I posted about some parts of my journey into getting my life back on track after (and during) considerable bad health and other difficult personal circumstances.

At the time of posting I was just trying to organise and begin some voluntary work to get me back into the work place and get me recent experience to enable me to get back into paid work once more. Also, I was hoping, to try and improve my anxiety which has worsened over the past couple of years (after starting when I became ill with IBD and other related problems).

At the time, even making small steps to get my life back on track seemed to be met with big stumbling blocks, which when you feel like you've got everything against you and you are using all your emotional strength just to get that far, to be met by a brick wall can be quite distressing!

To start my position at the hospital I needed to have appropriate identification, in this case I needed a passport and my current one had just ran out! Great timing! I had no money to get a new one and no other appropriate identification and seemingly no way to get round the problem and was feeling quite defeatist at points (which can clearly be noticed in my quite negative post from last year)!
After finally getting some funds (through a small loan) and a couple more hiccups I finally got an application for renewal sent off.

Long story short I finally started the voluntary work in May last year at a local hospital.
I'm working on a stroke ward and on the waiting list to help on the children's wards, which not surprisingly are popular positions.
 I'm just doing one shift a week at the moment and only during term time as there is no one regularly to have G during the holidays. I do basic tasks and errands so it can be frustrating wishing I was doing more (having a medical role, wishing I could help in other ways when it's needed etc) but it does help psychologically being back in the work place (as anyone who has been out of work for a while will's awful!) and it is good to be helping in some way.
It is a step in the right direction, which may seem small to anyone reading, but it's a big one for me and a it's hurdle I've managed to jump over.

I am still struggling with my anxiety, but working in a hospital helps. I also now have the possibility I might be able to start volunteering again at the local (ish) animal sanctuary, where last year transport was an issue. A younger family member (who would have transport) needs some work experience and support and the animal sanctuary may be a great place to do it.
I would love to help out there again. The sanctuary is a charity so relies on donations and volunteers, and along side being an animal lover, I did a lot of charity and fundraising activities before developing Crohn's. It's something I'm still passionate about and enjoy but I'm now very limited in what I can do, but this is still one way I could help.

I am hoping soon I will have enough experience I can use for a reference and then the battle to get back into paid work will properly begin!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Throwback Thursday - Meeting Will Young

Sometime towards the end of May this year, my dream came true (well kind of) and I met Will Young!

 It wasn't quite like I imagined it would be, but I met him never the less!

Will was doing an album signing at the Manchester Arndale branch of HMV.

 I found out about it, literally last minute, a couple of hours before he was due there. It was a bank holiday Monday and we had stayed in and not been up to anything. It seemed crazy rushing out to Manchester, especially as it was via public transport but this was the first actual chance I'd had to meet him and I've wanted to since I was a young teenager, when he sang his way into the nations hearts on pop idol, all those years ago.

Luckily once at the train station, a train only takes about 7 minutes from where we are to the city center and once in the center I carried Grace as quickly as I could to the Arndale Center. I got horribly over heated, didn't feel very well, was in an awful outfit, definately having a bad face day (if there ever are good ones) and Grace was dressed in an outfit that resembled pyjamas.

I've never queued up with Grace to meet a famous person, infact I've never really queued up to meet a famous person at all, but it's definately not something I'd put her through regularly. We were at the end of the queue and when we got there she was really excited, dancing about to his music and happy. By the time we were nearing the front she was totally fed up and I was stressed!

When it was our turn he went to greet Grace and she'd gone from being excited to meet him to being incredibly shy and hiding behind me. Will crouched down to try and chat to her but she kept hiding away. He won her over by talking about her cat top and shoes, he was lovely with her.
Instead of saying anything of interest I blurted out a load of rubbish and probably come over totally loopy! Not the way I would have liked it to go. After a chat we had a photo with him and he offered to pick Grace up and hold her for it but she got all shy again so I held her instead.

It topped the moment of meeting Derren Brown, but I didn't really attempt much conversation with him, except about him taking my sister on stage.
I was still over the moon to meet Will Young but I do wish I'd been able to think straight when actaully talking to him!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wicked Wednesdays - 'First Day Photo's'

So the past week or two lots of parents will have been posting their childrens first day at school photo's, capturing a big milestone for their child and an emotional moment for themselves, with their little one's looking all smart and delightful in their brand new uniforms.....

My wonderful little girl, who only turned 4 at the end of July, started school last Thursday. Our first day photo's didn't quite go to plan......

Dancing around!

I'd asked her dad to come for her first day as I felt she needed the support as she had been really upset at any mention of starting school. She was very excited to have him here so was jumping about the room and was in no mood for standing still for photo's even though she does love to pose.

Above is the closest I got to a 'proper' first day photo. Scrunched up face and taken  with not the best background as was the only time I got her to stop for a minute.

Stopping for a brief moment near the school gates....

Finally got there in the end.....

You can join in with Wicked Wednesdays over at Brummymummyof2's blog, just click on the photo below....


Friday, 4 September 2015

Review and Book of the fortnight: What the Ladybird Heard Next by Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks

This week G and I have been lucky enough to be sent a copy of the latest title from Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks; 'What the Ladybird Heard Next'.

Along side the review, this book is my young children's book of the fortnight and here is what we thought of it!

What the Ladybird Heard

Following on from 'What the Ladybird Heard', Lanky Len and Hefty Hue are back and this time they are after the fat red hed.
For those not familiar with the first book, don't worry you can still enjoy this book without having read the first.

Using her successful story telling formula, Julia takes us back to the farm where the ladybird and friends reside. With guidance from the little ladybird, the animals work together to once again foil the plans of the two theives.

I have to be honest, at first I was not sold with this book. I felt that it might be just too familiar to the first, with the verses of fun and repetitive farmyard noises found in the first, reappearing in this second story.

Fun farmyard verses

 Obviously though this book was not aimed at someone in their late 20's and the above were a part of a magic of the first book, where I enjoyed them and a are a great way for children to interact with the story. We all know young children love repetition.

What makes the story original was the introduction of a new character, the 'snuggly snerd' and it was this that my 4 year old noted as her favourite thing about the book. She particularly loves the picture and how it lays huge eggs.

Julia has once again teamed up with illustrator Lydia Monks for the these stories, whose pictures really bring the story to life. I particularly love the bright, eyecatching front cover of this book. It's something that would stand out to me from the shelves of the bookstore.

Along side What the Ladybird Heard and her other collaberations with Lydia (The princess and the wizard, The singing mermaid, Sugarlump and the Unicorn to name a few) this book also has the lovely glitter effect which is a another great way for little one's to interact with the story.

We enjoyed this story and the new way in which the animals mislead Hugh and Len and we have read it three times already.

Lovely detailing

Colourful, appealing illustrations

I'm sure that most households across the country with young children will have atleast one title from Julia Donaldson in their bookcase and this is a great one to add to the collection.

For those who want a closer look, you can see the trailer below

The book is not out until September the 10th but you can preorder your little one's a hardback copy of it here with a preorder special price of £5.99, when normally it retails at £11.99. You can also get free delivery if you are ordering over £10 of books.

Coinciding with the launch of the book, Macmillan children's books have posted a fun Q&A session with Julia and Lydia for you to get to know them a bit better.

So what do you think? Will you be buying a copy?

*This is not a sponsered post but for the purpose of this review we recieved a copy of the book. All views are our own.
Family Fever

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Returning to the world of blogging.....

It will be 8 months on Monday since I did any work on this blog. On new years eve, just before the clock struck midnight and the new year of 2015 began, my bloody laptop decided to die!

I was no longer able to carry on with the blog and I have many posts still unfinished, left frozen in time!

So 8 months have gone by and I've still not been able to sort out my laptop predictament. However with my little monkey starting school next week, I am thinking I may have the time to blog using my way past it's best computer (very old, slightly useless and alot more time consuming than using the laptop). 

So with that slightly dramatic introduction, I'll just get to the point. I'm back! 

To those of you who were reading, I hope you'll come back and join me again :)