Thursday, 25 September 2014

A Blessed Life (A blog about death)

As part of my day job I am required to take a palliative care course. Palliative care is the care of a person in the last year of their life, and it's care of a person in their death. I've managed to dodge out of this for the last 4 years because I just knew with being the over sensitive creature that I am, it might just be too much for me to bear.

And it's true. I often talk about my dismal sex life and rarely talk about death. Upon finding out I had to have a (very minor) operation at the beginning of the year (that I still yak on about) I told my husband precisely what I wanted doing with my body and at my funeral. He didnt listen. I'm sure he'd have just shoved me in the ground and then I'd have to haunt him for eternity.

But our death is as important as our life.

I just want to quickly say, I am blessed. I might have been through a few shit situations in life and I'm not 100% happy with how everything turned out, but I know that I am blessed.

So much so that I would be totally fine if I were to be hit by a bus tomorrow. Honestly, I feel as complete as I think I should feel for this stage of my life and I firmly believe that I'd be back before long.

So, when I die, I want to be put in a wicker coffin wearing a white muslin dress. If whoever is dressing me cant get hold of that specifically, I'll be more than happy to be wrapped in white muslin fabric (as I would wrap a towel around me, so shoulders and arms uncovered). Theres loads of that in my sewing room so they can help themselves. Bare feet. No make-up, no jewellery. Daisies in my hair, hair curled.

I want flowers to be woven and threaded into the coffin.

Anyone can attend, but you will have to be in bare feet. If you insist on wearing shoes don't bother coming. Be prepared to hold eachothers hands. Burn me. Scatter my ashes wherever there are trees and flowers.

As trivial as all this sounds (and morbid, I'm sure), It's important to me that this is how my body is disposed of. This is my ritual. This will be my goodbye. And I will make sure each and every one of you knows how much I loved you in life. As long as you have bare feet.

Monday, 25 August 2014

When did Lingerie become so Blah?

Womens underwear has gone through such enormous transitions throughout history and thankfully, so have women. Society has embraced femininity allowing us to finally be who we want to be with little to nothing standing in our way (at least, thats what we are raised to believe).

So why on earth is something that is the epitome of femininity suddenly so boring and drab?

There are at least eight (count them!) lingerie shops or departments in Nottingham and yet I was still reduced to throwing a strop and declaring that I'd sooner open my own then buy from any of them(!!) Out of all of them, only one had lingerie I even considered purchasing and then they didn't have my size. Seems as though I'm not the only one with good taste as apparently, every other self respecting woman had got there before me.

I am going to tell you what the difference is between the tat and the not-tat.

When you put on your underwear you should actually have that split second feeling of empowerment. If you have time to spare you should most definitely spend it in front of the mirror basking in that feeling. That's your body and it looks awesome! That's your body and it feels magnificent. That's your body and yes, you can conquer anything life throws at you.

Now step away from the mirror.

That is the feeling you will have when you put that bra/knicker set on. Not just the first time, but every time.

If the feeling you get is an underwhelming exhilation and it has your shoulders dropping, you're wearing tat.

So, after you've had that mega moment of bliss, you get dressed and somehow your clothes look 40 times better than the time you wore them with that day-glo-chav-crap underneath. You suddenly walk a bit taller (and those heels are epic and somehow even your legs look tremendously endless thanks to those knickers you're wearing) and you know that should you get hit by a bus, you will look amazing when the paramedic is cutting off your shirt!

Will you have that same assurance with the fuchsia-pink-with-leopard-print-trim piece of rubbish? I saw one like that only yesterday and... HELLO ADMINISTRATION!

On a somewhat cattier note, I hope to actual god that these so called lingerie "designers" aren't getting paid more than minimum wage?! Because there is zero skill in taking the same design and pumping it out in 40 different colours.


And, before any of you roll your eyes in derision at my "expensive" (or pretentious) taste. A good bra doesnt have to cost more than £25 but certainly should cost more than £15.

And matching pants are a must.

Oh, and on a final note about these "free fitting services", it's all just a marketing ploy. They measure you into their sizing bracket and push every design in that size onto you  until you feel obliged to buy one-all while whispering in your ear that you just cant find the right size anywhere else...


Get yourself a tape measure (and get yourself undressed).

With the tape parallel to the floor measure your rib cage directly under your bust. If you are an even number add 4" and if you are an odd number add 3" (so if you measure 30" add 4" = 34" this is your band/back size)

As you can see, I'm 33", that's an odd number so I need to add 3" so my back size is 36". This number will change as you gain or lose weight.

Now take your tape measure and place it around the flat part of your chest, above your bust, over your breast bone and under your arms:


Finally, measure the fullest part of your bust, you might need to do this while wearing a bra, depending you where your breasts naturally lie, but here you can see I'm 38". Now for the math (dun dun duuuhhh!).

Take your bust measurement and subtract your chest measurement. My example would be 38"-35"=3"

Now for every inch it's a cup size 1"=A, 2"=B etc.

So three inches is a C cup. 36C is my size.

Now go try all the bras on that you can find and tell me that you aren't comfortable in them. I'll need proof of a bad fit. With pictures. 

Wasn't all that so tremendously difficult?! On a more serious note-does it make me a "fitting expert" because I know how to do that properly (thank you De Montfort Uni!!).

I'd like to make one last thing as clear as I possibly can to everyone who reads this, going up a cup size does not mean you can go down a band size. Bragging rights for big tits is only fun until you get sore or can't breathe from wearing tight elastic around your rib cage. Your bra shouldn't mark you. 

Love your boobs enough to be honest with yourself about your size.

I don't know how particular brands get away with it, I'll never forget the obnoxious sales assistant who, upon me pointing out my bust was too small for their brand (they start at a D cup), declared that I'd "be surprised!!" All while waggling her tape measure at me and having a plastic smile on her face. I still muster up the look of disgust that crossed my face on that very day every time I remember the unfortunate conversation. 

Own what you've got. 

*I should add, since we are women and all, breasts change. They never really stop changing, so don't use this measuring system once and decide that that will be your size for the rest of your life. Just always make sure you're comfortable and that your boobs are not squashed or rolling about loosely in too-big cups. Breast health is important, after all.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Modern Sexuality (and why it sucks 😉 to be a woman)

Having discussed this partially with Spadge and Heather, usually in the middle of Costa coffee, I've managed to get high enough up on my soapbox to write a blog post about it.

I like sex. I like sex three times a day at the very least and could easily match any mans sexual appetite with my own voracity and stamina. 

Since the trouble I had with my baby box at the beginning of the year I had to come off cerazette, which (I'm pretty sure) was the only thing that was controlling my insatiable sexual desires. 

Since entering this period of heightened awareness (I'm trying not to sound crass) I've been searching for reasons as to why I'm like this and whether or not I'm the only one?! 

I'm not the only one. Though I have discovered through some very awkward conversations with people that there is a plethora (smirk) of sexual appetites and they are wide ranging. One woman I talked to thought there was something wrong with her being happy with the Sunday morning sex she had weekly with her long term partner. What shocked me more was that he was ok with this. Another woman found it increasingly frustrating that her male partner didn't want sex at all when he had been away for a week. Then another woman who gave up waiting for her husband to satisfy her and started having one night stands. 

Looking for answers to my behavioural traits I thought I'd start where any self respecting pseudo-psychologist would. Not many people know about my up bringing (I don't even think Spadge and Heather know a great deal about it) but it was a boat load of paradoxes. Seeing my past through my adult eyes I can understand where my sexual appetite comes from and see how oppressed my sexual development was by my mother especially. Ironic, considering her sexual history. When I was a teenager, painfully shy and socially awkward, I was constantly reminded to not be a tart/slut and make up never touched my face until the day I walked out of the house and went to college. I didn't understand what was wrong with me feeling so strange all the time. It wasn't actually until I met Spadge and Heather that I started to come out of my shell and discuss this stuff. Now, ten years down the line I feel like everything has clicked into place. 

My concern isn't that I'm so sexually confident and demanding, but that so many other men and women are and are afraid to show it even to their partners. 

I remember how my husband found out about my appetite when I couldn't suppress it any longer. This is another area in which we aren't matched. He would be more than happy with twice a week and can handle it perfectly if we go for 4+ weeks without any sex. By week two I'll be pacing the landing in bare feet trying to ground myself. By week three I'll be on the porn sites routinely and by week four I'll be actively seeking another sexual partner. This is when he notices me looking at other guys (and girls) with that look in my eye and he will usually sort me out. 

But, why is it in this day and age, we can't be honest with ourselves about our needs as a person, an individual, regarding one of our most basic needs? Shouldn't it be one of the first things discussed with a new partner along with our other expectations; "I'd like someone who is kind and caring, willing to provide for his family and be able to satisfy me sexually x times per day/week/month". After all, how often are we told that sex is an important part of the relationship? And why is everyone still so prudish about it?

There is little point going into any relationship knowing your sexual fulfilment will be lacking, and the best way of knowing this is when you start to seek that fulfilment elsewhere. 

And women need to seriously step up and take control of their sexualities and expectations. Why compromise a vital part of ourselves for fear of being branded a tart/slut/whore? And there is a clear line between promiscuity and sexuality. 

I am proud of myself for finally realising that there is nothing wrong with liking sex just as much as there is nothing wrong with disliking it. The worst thing in this whole situation is being judged negatively (by women especially) for something that is mostly beyond our control, whichever way we are. 

There is no point in lying to ourselves about something we can't fight, so finding a way to accept it and embrace it is surely the most logical step?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Timeliness and timeframes

I'm turning 26 this year. It's not going to be a good birthday for me. I know because I'm already getting depressed about it and the slightest thing is setting my brain off into the realms of crazy and to top it off, Kirstie Allsop has been sharing her over inflated opinion about what women should be.


Just...... Wow.

I'd love to be in a position to be popping out my first born! Truly! Only what the great and powerful Miss (will only get married for the tax breaks-wtf tax break would that be?!) Allsop fails to communicate in this article is the fact that not every woman at that age is financially stable enough to support herself, never mind herself-plus-offspring?! 

There is never a more heavy burden for a woman than the weight of time. Every year getting closer to being rendered barren by your own body whilst constantly being reminded of what you should have already achieved by now, but haven't. 

It's great that Kirstie is in such a position; supportive partner, successful career, head screwed on right. But the rest of us mere mortals have what we have, and it isn't always the right recipe to create children. If I were to become pregnant now (to my husband, obviously) I'm pretty sure he would support me... all the way to the abortion clinic. 

So yeah, I'm turning 26 and I'm just mightily pissed off at myself for not having a successful career, supportive husband or a stable enough home life to introduce kids to. Women can't wait until after they've had children to go through their education and find their place in the world of work due to that little tiny thing called ageism (and dare I say, whisper it, sexism), which is still rife in a lot of industries. And what is to say that the man they are with at 27 is the right man to spend the rest of their life with?

Time isn't on our side. Women have been pretty much cluster-fucked since the day they were allowed to vote. We will never be equal because the way the entire world works, is against us. 

Life is just a constant torment. Everything is always just that bit out of reach. 

I regret ditching uni, I regret marrying my "sweetheart", I regret most of my entire life and I hate that everything I need to change it is just too far gone. I'm exhausted from trying to make ends meet and devestated that I've had to let go of such massive parts of myself. I'm heart-sick. And so incredibly envious of other women, like Kirstie, who have their cake and wear it proudly on their hips. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Social media and why it's a massive pita

We're all guilty of having some form of social media addiction. I frequent Facebook and LinkedIn, Spadge is a regular twit and Heather is frequently ogling Pinterest. All three of us have Instagram and we all started ten years ago on MySpace (can you even remember those days?! 10 years?!).

Social media has become an inherent part of our lives and the lives of many others though, for the amount of trouble it gets me in, I find myself wondering if it's even worth it.

Before Sam and I were a couple, he spent the summer watching me on MySpace (should have rang ye olde warning bells then :p) but never himself had a MySpace and he hates Facebook with an ungodly passion. Despite his loathing opinions of social media, he regularly logs into my Facebook so he can spy on his friends. 

Generally, when I update my status on Facebook (rarely these days), I do the same as everyone else. Make an observation about something that has happened to me or something on the news, I might share a picture or a link to something I found interesting. 

So why my Facebook "friends" pick apart my status/link/photo and report my activities back to my husband/parents /grandparents, like I'm a petulant, misbehaving child is something I will never understand. 

The things that get misconstrued are unbelievable. I'm a slut for posting a picture if myself in underwear (if you knew me, you'd know how funny that is), I'm a lesbian because I enjoy spending time with my girlfriends and tell them I love them publicly (yes I touch their bodies, but it is not in a sexualised way - most of the time) and worst of all is when my husband comes home from work accusing me being an awful person because I was ranting about having 3 hour long nosebleeds, when his colleague has just lost his wife (all things out of my control).

Social media has changed society and social etiquette and I'm sure some people (myself most definitely included) struggle to manoeuvre through it successfully. But it doesn't help when the people you love the most in the world are the ones who are calling you the worst things. Because despite social media being an open forum for our lives, no one has the right to interfere and judge anyone else.

I now rarely update my Facebook. It became a laborious and time consuming task because I had to take what I wanted to say and adapt it to be husband/parent/grandparent friendly. I find myself not being able to be myself and therefore it loses it's point. 

Now, I am only ever my real self with my girlfriends when we are together. That's it. The rest if the world can't tolerate my over opinionated and crass views so I tend to keep them to myself anyway. I can't say in worse off for it. 

I do wonder what would happen if everyone stopped using their Facebook just for a day. In pretty sure the economy would collapse again.

Anyway. Back to work.

Friday, 25 April 2014

The basics of conversation (or why it's less painful to bang my headagainst a brick wall)

Number 1: it's better if you are with more than just yourself. Though I must admit I have several conversations with myself in a day, usually trying to rationalise an expensive or unecassary purchase. Having more than just yourself to converse with adds dimension with differing opinions, perspectives and experiences being drawn on.

Number 2: it requires effort. You need to actively listen to the viewpoints of others as it not only helps you understand the topic in a broader sense but it shows you value their input (even when you completely disagree!).

Number 3: it develops your connection with others. I bang on and on about "connecting" to people. This is largely in part to my spiritual beliefs but I think it is a fundamental part of human relationships on a very primal level. A conversation allows you to resonate with another individual or individuals over mutual interest or concerns. You can learn from one conversation whether that person is trustworthy, honest, kind, open and welcoming if the conversation is conducted sufficiently. 

Number 4: the ending is as vital as the beginning. Have you managed to tie up the topic with any strong solutions or have plans been put in place? Are all parties happy with the outcome? Is this a person you will likely converse with again? If so, has it been left on a happy note? 

People are shit at talking these days because most of us are staring at our phones, but it is a sad day when you can't even talk to another human being because you forgot how important it was to be heard.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Have you got a real job yet?

My previous post mentioned how excited and productive I've been since leaving my office job.

However, I almost forgot about the other side that came with working freelance - the question that makes my heart sink every time 'have you got a real job yet?'. It crops up far more often than I care to answer.

What do you mean a 'real job'? It's hard to explain to people that you are making more money that you ever have before, without leaving your house.

The internet is a miraculous thing, it means that I'm networking and opening up new work opportunities daily, from one seat. I can blog from anywhere, I can sell writing to magazines all over the world and I can do it all in my pyjamas if I want.

Unless it's Skype time, of course, then I dress smart from the waist-up ;).

Even if the work flow might not be as reliable, I am my own boss. I am smart with my money. I decide what I do and when I do it. I set a rate that I actually deserve. I don't stress myself out and I definitely don't shout at myself in front of a room full of colleagues when I'm on a power trip. Above all; I am very happy and the healthiest I've been in a long time.

I think a lot of that happiness is down to some of the feedback I've received from clients, since being able to choose who I work with. Never before have I worked with such fun and inspiring people. They're young, they're ambitious and they listen to me.

I've received messages saying my writing made a stranger laugh out loud on the tube. I've received messages from clients saying 'I want to shout from the mountain tops how good you are at your job.'

So, I'm sorry I haven't found a boring 9 to 5 office job with a reliable income, if that's what you think a 'real job' is. It would take a seriously fantastic company, location, director and salary to talk me into that.

I love what I do.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Altruism or, I am not crazy (honest).

I believe in giving. Not just at Christmas or on Birthdays, but always. Always giving. I also believe that help is help and it is as simple as that, and I want to be remembered for being a helpful, kind and giving person.

This ranges from helping clients at work, swapping the odd shift to help a colleague out, loaning money to family members when they are short at the end of the month and simply smiling at people, because they don't deserve to be subjected to my miserable face.

I also know when I need help, I expect help, and I probably shouldn't. After all the gift of giving is free. We freely give to others and shouldn't expect anything in return.

So when my crazy comes, as it did like a freight train with the last full moon, I know it will lift and just have to mosey on through it as best as I can.

But when it doesn't lift and it starts to become a little bit scary, I begin to need help.

In the past, my parents (my dad) has always found a way to lift me out of these crazies. Ususally at detriment to himself. But he is my dad and he will always give to me, whatever it costs.

Now, being married, the onus of this falls on my husband and I really don't think he knows or understands just how big a responsibility he has being married to me. When I get to the point that I am at now, it quickly spirals downwards into a hellish sort of nightmare and I need him to pull me out. But he never ever does.

He thinks my behaviour at this time is a choice. That if I didn't want to feel this way, I simply wouldn't feel this way. He has zero understanding that I CANNOT lift myself up and out of this hole, that he needs to reach down and pull me up and that what he sees while he is reaching for me, may well cost him something of himself.

Just like it cost me to become his wife.

It's in these times that regular feelings are intensified, so worry becomes an actual demon in my head and I swiftly become panicked, alarmed and at times, hysterical. So when he comes home two hours late without so much as a text to let me know he will be late, and is not lying in several pieces on the motorway, I can't be relieved, I can't be happy or content or anything positive because as far as I am concerned, he let me get like that on purpose.

He doesn't care.*

Something as small as that turns into a fight that lasts for days and then before I know it I'm exhausted from trying to claw my way out of this hole and I really don't care if I stay in it anymore.

But he really dislikes that version of me, the lifeless listless version of me that doesn't care, starts taking risks and doing stupid things to test my limitations. The version of me with such complete opposite behaviourisms that I'm quite literally a different person.

I feel like it's only the badness in me that is allowed to walk freely from the crazy and that if I want the goodness to be released I have to sacrifice something. I have to sacrifice part of me. It's like playing marbles with the school bully. You know you'll come away with less and you have no choice but to play. In the past I sacrificed my sewing, which is why it's painfully difficult for me to even be attempting to sew now, 4 years later.

I want to be normal. I want my husband to want to help me.

*This is an unfair statement as he does care about me, it just feels as though he doesn't when I have the worry demon in my head.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

'When is it your turn?'

I recently read a great article by a lady who doesn't want kids and is sick of being asked when she is going to reproduce. There were parts of that post that really pulled at some heart strings for me and I'm sure for other people. Even though the author's situation was the complete opposite of what I want, she also managed to understand other women's situations, something a lot of people don't think about.

Sometime last year I was out for dinner with some 'friends' and some of the group bought their newborn baby with them. If I'd known they were going to the meal, I would have made my excuses as I knew what was coming. Endless questions of 'when is it your turn?' 'are you broody?' 'when are you two having kids?' thrown at me from all directions. For someone who had, at the time already been trying for a baby for around a year with no luck these questions were a stab in the heart and actually made me cry, which I luckily managed to do with no one noticing! None of these people knew our situation so I suppose you could let them off but as the original article says you really should think before you speak.

When people ask you about your reproduction plans how do they know that person hasn't miscarried last week? It's not something you would tell everyone. How do they know they haven't just been told they can't have kids or have already been trying for years? They don't and it's more than a little ignorant to not think about a person's possible situation before they speak. If there is a couple sat in front of you who have been together 5 years and have no kids, why could this be?! Why do they not have kids? The easy answer is maybe they just aren't ready or haven't even thought about kids or they simply don't want any. But with 1 in 7 couples in the UK having fertility issues there is a very real possibility that the person sat in front of you is probably dreading the question of kids coming up.

We have kept our struggle private from everyone that is not close to us as for one it's no one else's business and the last thing I need is comments like "aren't you pregnant yet?" from ill informed, insensitive people. But I do sometimes wonder if it would be easier if people knew and then maybe they would not keep asking about our plans for children. Then again, knowing these types of people, they would probably ask even more!

I quote from the original article...
"It is time for those who view it as socially appropriate to make comments or jokes about a woman’s plans for child-bearing to understand that it’s not okay. It is also not okay to ask when she’s going to have kids or her reasons why she’s choosing not to. I don’t care who you are — unless you are my husband, doctor, or my best friend of fourteen years, do not ask me or make jokes about my pregnancy status. Or lack thereof. It’s not funny, cute, or kind. In fact, it’s the exact opposite, and depending on whatever my circumstances might be that you likely don’t know about it could be absolutely devastating."

Never a truer word spoken. It's a shame people can't keep their big nosy noses out of other people's business. If you want kids, have them yourself and stop discussing my ovarian activity!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Goodbye office

As a creative person, I think good inspiration is essential in order to achieve good work.

I get a lot of inspiration from other people and the internet, but when you're surrounded by the same people, views and objects every day, life can get stifling. And you'll start to feel constricted. I did, anyway...

The phone constantly rings and you're surrounded by either an awkward silence or a loud and distracting conversation. It just isn't an environment I enjoy, especially as a writer, who likes to feel immersed in her work.

Distractions are various specimen of livestock laying on the tracks of your train of thought.

White walls and blank pages both stress me out immensely, where is the inspiration in that? All you can focus on is the ticking of the clock. And sure enough, I go crazy and can't focus.

Staring at a computer is just as bad.

Leave the computer and stop breathing in the stale air. It works wonders.

This is why I love being freelance. Aside from short, pre-planned meetings that work around me, I can work from anywhere with a power socket. Once you've tasted this freedom, it's so hard to go back.

Creatives aren't supposed to be imprisoned like that. And I have never had such great feedback on my work since.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

I'm a carer

I'm a carer. When people ask me what I do and I tell them, they either assume I spend all day drinking tea with old dears or they think I spend all day performing personal care (I'm putting that politely, because nothing infuriates me more than when people groan "eeeew not cleaning shitty bums all day!! How gross!!")

How ignorant. 

I'm a carer. My job does involve performing personal care for individuals who are no longer able to, I help them wash their backs because they can't reach, I help them clean their teeth and put their clothes on. I make them cups of tea and ensure they can drink it safely and comfortably, even the ones who can no longer get out of bed. I help them turn over, so they don't get sore or any more achy than they already are. 

As part of a team in a private company, we have to maintain a high level of professionalism and continuously exceptional standard of care. We aren't allowed to call our clients pet names or colloquial terms. We aren't allowed to be overly affectionate to any of them. We have to be mindful that these ladies and gentlemen are older than us and therefore should be fully respected for their seniority, vast life experience and their current state of health should not alter that.

But I didn't know your mum or your dad when they were raising you. I didn't know them even before that, when they were courting. I didn't know your grandma before she had Alzheimer's. I know very little about their past because it is my duty to ensure their present is so full of goodness and happiness and unicorns and rainbows. I will always endeavour to provide each and every one of my clients with the best care, and that's where the problem lies.

I looked after a gentleman for the last 18 months of his life. We'll call him Jake for the purpose of this blog as confidentiality is vitally important in the care setting. Jake was extraordinary. I knew nothing of his past other than his wife's name and that he was a butcher and enjoyed a good steak. 

I loved him with my whole heart (not professional. At all).

Every day I would walk into work and he would greet me with the biggest smile, like I was an old friend and he had an inside joke to share. He would laugh and joke with me (I never understood the half of it) and I would laugh and smile and feel so at home with this lovely man. 

He would get so frustrated with his family. I never understood what had gone off and it wasn't my business. But Jake would cry after his family left, and I'd be the one to soothe him with kind words and an arm around his shoulder, perching precariously on the arm of a chair. 

The last time I saw Jake was shortly before 2pm on a Monday afternoon. I was having to leave halfway through my 14 hour shift as I was poorly and he had been put into bed as he was not well at all. 

I told him to get well soon and that I loved him very much. He smiled and said "I love you too" like it was the most normal thing in the world.

He passed away an hour before I re-entered the building a week later and I have never in my life cried so much for a practical stranger. 

This isn't professionalism. We aren't allowed to cry, or love out clients like they're our own family. We certainly aren't allowed to tell them we love them. 

But how can I be expected to care for these people without developing those natural familial reactions and feelings. 

Yes, these are your mums and dads and you knew them in that capacity. And despite me being young enough to be their grandchild, I'm the one in the maternal position. The psychology of it reverses the "normal" or expected age relationship. The hierarchy changes.

So please, when you see your mother being cared for by someone young enough to be your daughter, and cringe at the use of a pet name, or the hand holding or the little cuddles, or the patronising tone of voice we use (I hate it too but sometimes it's all we have), please remember that it comes from a place of good, a place of care and comfort and love.

And that everyday that we do that job it costs us. Every time I lose a client, it takes part of me, losing Jake cost me such a large part of myself that I've barely functioned since (it was a month ago now).

We can't give those exceptional levels of care and meet the required levels of professionalism expected of us because they don't go hand in hand. It's such a contradiction. We give good care because we care so much.

Also, on a final note, these elderly ladies and men are often confused, and the first feeling they have every morning is fear. They are scared. Put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes when I'm scared all I want is a cuddle and a reassuring word. Most of the time they just need their hand to be held. They need to know they are not alone and that we are their friends and sometimes the only familiar face they see now. They make us their family. 


Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Heather : Currently Loving

| Ombre Nails | Mid length hair | Glitter dipped feathers | Sparkly eyes | Spiced Apple | Chunky knits |

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Both sides of the interview table

I've been interviewed a good handful of times since leaving University, 3 have been in the past 7 months, so the process is quite fresh in my head!

Each interview has been a relatively scary experience, despite usually being described as 'casual' in the prior correspondence emails.

Regardless of location; private meeting room, a corner of a huge office or at your local Starbucks, there is that pressure of not only hiding your nerves but showing your skill-set without coming across as arrogant. I have added pressures of hiding my tattoos and my tendency to sweat heavily in the spotlight.

This week, for the first time ever, I was on the panel of interviewers and got to meet a trio of wonderful interviewees. I think it's always incredibly eye-opening to be sat the other side of the table, for a number of situations in life, but this one in particular was surprisingly nerve wracking...

You hold the key to the door that gives them access to a better life. A door that helps them financially, in confidence growth and one that builds their career. I have been on that side of the table many times and I know how equally difficult it is to demonstrate everything you know/can bring to their company, in a matter of minutes.

I always thought of the interviewer as 'the one who is holding out the key and seeing how high I will jump for it'. When in reality, it's just as difficult to decide who is the best fit from that short meeting. My whole outlook on the process has now changed and I learned I'd be horrifically bad at speed dating, haha.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

I'm engaged!

Much to my surprise on Christmas Day my other half proposed to me. I was more than a little shocked. The morning started like a normal Christmas morning, it was our puppy's first Christmas so we let him open all his presents and then we opened ours. I was expecting perfume which I got but I wasn't expecting what was underneath the perfume! He had wrapped a shoe box in christmas paper and inside was my present in a perfume gift box. I was more than happy to get my favourite perfume so I took it out of the box and underneath it said 'Will you marry me?' I cried and even he cried. In almost 6 years thats the second time I've seen him cry. There was no ring but I wasn't bothered, I was finally engaged! I got my ring a week later by the way...

So here starts the wedding planning. The average wedding costs £20,000, unless your name is Heather Louise. There is no way in hell I will be spending such a ridiculous amount on a one day celebration so my plan is to have a lovely, small wedding for as cheap as possible. My wedding has been planned on Pinterest and in my head for quite a while so all that is to do is book a venue and get creative...and the all important dress shopping. I will be DIYing a lot of things. Flowers, decor, invites, make up, jewellery & hair accessories are all on my DIY list. I am an avid reader of wedding blogs and the ones that catch my eye the most are the ones the couple have done themselves, it adds a more personal touch. My plan at the moment is a coral, mint and gold music themed wedding. I have liked this colour scheme for a while but decided to confuse myself and look at others on Pinterest and also liked the idea of midnight blue and fuchsia. Coral is pretty hard to match with there being so many shades so I'm exploring other ideas.

I will be posting more wedding related posts as I get more into it with plenty of budget wedding tips for much-less-than-£20,000-wedding and some DIY tutorials!