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Mum of three.
X graphic designer turned mum.
Was a Clinical Support Worker. (Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2011!!)
Now a Trainee Nursing Associate and Married for 23 years.


Ever since Italy last year, I have been nurturing an old artistic interest.
I absolutely love the human form and if I’m being totally honest, the male form in particular.

Renaissance artwork is a particular favourite, so Italy and Florence were a dream come true. I mean just look at this…..

This is the work of Michelangelo.
Really take a look at it. Look at the detail, the musculature, the folds of skin, the crossed feet. Look at the fingers squeezing into the buttock and this has all been carved out of marble.
Michelangelo, looked at a block of marble and saw this!!

Anyway, back to the reason for this post.
My interest has seen me collecting images. Amazing paintings from modern artists with a plethora of styles.

Zack Zdrale
Love the lighting and the detail in the hands.

Zack Zdrale

Daniel Pernas
Again, look at the detail in the hands. I get very jealous of people who can do hands.

Daniel Pernas 1

Giorgio Dante
His work is very reminiscent of the renaissance period with exaggerated body movement and swathes of material.

David Jester
I love the colour in these images and the fact that he totally makes you feel like you’re under water. They’re amazing!!

So, where was I going with this post…… oh yes….

My Xmas present

One of my favourite forms of expression is photography.
I think that, taken in the right conditions, a photograph can make a human form look like it’s been carved from marble.

One of my favourite photographers is Michael Stokes.
He takes amazing photos of the human form and the photos that initially grabbed my interest were from a collection of work entitled ‘Always Loyal’.
This coffee table book is one I have just received, had a quick flick through and given up to be wrapped for Xmas. So frustrating!!
It consists of very raw and powerful photos of service men and women. Injured in the line of duty. It shows each one before their injury, during their recovery and then Michael’s photo’s almost make it look like they are blooming or transforming into their final form. They’ve gone through hell but they are still here and this book honours what they’ve gone through in an amazing way.

However, I also decided to try some of his earlier work.
I decided to go for his first book entitled, ‘Masculinity’.
The first edition of this book has sold out and can currently be found changing hands for around £800 – £1000!!

I was intrigued.

So when I found the second edition for sale through the artist himself, I jumped at the chance to get it.
My beautifully signed copy arrived with ‘Always Loyal’ and after a very eye opening quick skim through, I have also given this one up to be wrapped for Xmas.

The preface in this book is titled, ‘Art, Porn and the Male Form’.
What I didn’t know about Michael Stokes is that because of the rules and regulations of what can and cannot be posted on social media and the rules of publishers, Michael’s work is all created independently so that he is not bound by those rules and can express himself fully. Because I’ve only seen his work through social media, I hadn’t fully appreciated the extent of his work until I saw this book.
Let’s just say, this book shows the male form in ‘ALL’ it’s glory and is definitely one I won’t be showing my mother at Xmas!!

Here’s a taster…… one’s that I can show anyway!!

I will be keeping my eye open for opportunities to collect his other coffee table books, although, because they are collections of ‘artwork’, they are pretty expensive.

But well and truly worth it!
Can’t wait to get my hands back on them at Xmas.


So, I haven’t posted since the 17th September.

TBH, I really haven’t wanted to write anything. My life feels like a bit of a struggle at the moment, just going from day to day. I just want this course to finish so that I can go back to concentrating on my work and my life and continue to develop my skills on the job. After 2 years of writing about policies and guidelines, I’ve really had enough and just want to get back to actually dealing with patients and work colleagues.

This week isn’t helping.
I got the result for my third presentation.
My first two presentations were ‘A’s, my third was a ‘C’.
To say I’m a little disappointed is true but, hey! it’s a pass.
I know where I went wrong. I tried to cram way too much onto the slides and my references weren’t great.

I have placement today and tomorrow followed by 2 long days at work and then my weekend will be spent on my last two pieces of work.

What a shit week!!

Having said that….
One of my baby girls turned 21 yesterday!
How did that happen?

How did this…….


Turn into this?!!!



And last night I went to the cinema with the hubby and daughter number 2.
I was a secret screening so we didn’t know what it would be until it started.
Turns out it was ‘The Hate U Give’.

I kinda rolled my eyes when I found out what it was.
I see it all the time on the news just lately and really didn’t want it rammed down my throat in the cinema.


I’m glad I stayed to watch it.
It’s a good film with a lot to say, that it does pretty well.
Gives a bit of perspective from both sides of events.
Even gives a little bit of humour.

Would I watch it again?
Don’t know if it’s one for my DVD list though.

Right, that’s my quick update of events.
Back to work. Got to leave in about 10 minutes.
I could cry.



Got to do something!!

Stomach in knots.

Mind racing.


So, today is the last of our presentations.
At approx 11:40, I will be stood in front of a few colleagues and tutors waffling my way through a presentation on the ‘Stresses and Strains of Caring’ and how I protect myself and my colleagues from stress, exhaustion and burnout.

I find it quite ironic really, because doing these presentations is more stressful in itself than working on the ward with my team.

Just over a week ago, I found out that I had taken my presentation brief in completely the wrong direction and had to literally start it again.
On Monday, I had a run through with a tutor who reassured me that I was now on the right track and offered a few tips.
On Friday, I finalised it and submitted it to the portal.
That’s it.
No changes now.

Stupid thing is, that night, I laid awake ALL night with the damned thing running over in my head. When I got up for work I felt like rubbish. On my way into work, my stomach started bubbling and gurgling quite nicely and by the time I got into handover, I felt like death warmed up.
They sent me home.

After calming myself down and switching off from everything for a few hours, I actually felt a lot better.
On Sunday we had a surprise family get together for my Mum’s 70th birthday. I was adamant that I would NOT think about Uni and just take a day out and enjoy things.
It was a lovely day.

Then WHAM!
I wake up at the crack of dawn today and the butterflies are back with a vengeance.
I can feel the panic and the stress slowly rising to the surface.
I’ve had a final run through of the presentation and my verdict is that it is….. shit!!
I think I have covered enough to get a pass but it certainly has a few areas that are complete waffle and could have been left out and my referencing is abysmal.


At least this is the last one. (Unless I fail it)
Then I can start to tackle the last two essays that have to be complete before the end of October.


There is nothing quite like the gut wrenching feeling of finding out the presentation you’ve been working on all day (and attempting to write on and off for the last two weeks) is completely wrong!!

Image result for tearing hair out gif

So glad a colleague shared some feedback from a tutor with me.
It has clearly shown that I’ve taken the brief in completely the wrong direction.


I have had an epiphany!! So I will be spending the rest of the evening, jotting down a rough plan so that I don’t forget it and then work on it on Sunday before discussing it with tutors on Monday in the hopes that I have finally cracked it!!

I need to take a little break first though.
May even brave the rain for a walk and get some air.

…….or I could just dig out a bottle of wine and chill while waiting for Hozier’s new EP to drop at 19:30!!

Either way, I don’t want this evening to end.
I need more time on this presentation for one thing but tomorrow, I’m back at work after over two weeks off!
Two 12.5 hour shifts in a row is going to be tough, especially with the knowledge that on Sunday I will be sitting in front of this damned computer all day again trying to complete a presentation.



Right, time to kick some ass….. my own that is.

I’ve just had 2 weeks of annual leave to have a really good think about things.
In that time, I have finished a presentation, submitted it and then actually presented it.
I’ve made a tentative start on the next one but I haven’t even looked at the two essays that I wanted to.
I have chilled, I have eaten far too much, drunk far too much and generally procrastinated at every turn.


After all this time to think, I have come up with a plan.
The next 7 months are going to be incredibly hard as I try to fit in everything that is required to finish this foundation degree.
I need to wake my brain up a bit and I think that exercise and fresh air is called for.
When I was dieting and exercising before I went to Italy last year, I felt great!
Since coming back I have fallen into the old routine of sitting in front of my PC and doing sod all else during my free time.

I have an App on my phone that tracks my daily exercise and I have set my daily steps target to 10000.
When I am at work I will smash through this, regularly reaching 16000 steps.
On my days off, I rarely reach this target and in the last two weeks, the ONLY day I reached this target was when we went to Coventry for the day last weekend.

Needless to say, that with all the spoiling of myself I’ve done and with the lack of exercise, I have piled on a bit of weight.
Worrying about Uni work and binge eating to feel better are not helping and are, in fact, making me even more depressed and therefore comfort eating even more!!

It’s a downward spiral and it has to stop!!

So, Monday is the start of me getting back into the right frame of mind to kick my life back into the right gear.
I will start by making sure I reach my steps target on a DAILY basis.
I’ve been charting my efforts over the last few months and marking my efforts in red, amber and green.
The red means I have walked less than 7500 steps.
The amber means I have walked between 7500 and 10000 steps.
The green means I reached my target for the day.

Sadly there is far more red and amber than green on my spreadsheet for the year so far.

My best month has been July with a total of 200677 steps, equivalent to 158.21 Kilometers or 98.3 Miles.
My worst month has been May with on 110046 steps, equivalent to just 86.3 Kilometers or 53.6 Miles.

If I aim to reach my target every day from now on I should be reaching nearer 434000 steps for the month, equivalent to roughly 310 Kilometers or 192 Miles!!
That’s double my best month so far!!

It’s going to be tough, I’ll admit, but I need to get out of the house and away from the computer for a bit each day.
I also need to get back into a ton of nice clothes that I have that are just a bit too snug to be comfortable in.

There, it’s in writing, so watch this space.
Now, I’m going to go and finish the last of my wine and snacks!


I did my presentation today.
I’ve discovered a little problem I have.
I keep taking deeper and deeper breaths after each slide until I reach the point where I literally can’t take a deeper breath and end up almost hyperventilating!!
I only just made it through my 10 minutes and my next presentation is 15!!
I may just turn blue and pass out.

Anyway, I think everyone in my group did really well and we now just wait for our results.
The frustrating thing is that we will probably have finished and presented our next presentation before we find out about this one.

Anyway, I chilled this afternoon. Did a little shop and watched some of ‘The Crown’ that I’ve decided to binge watch.

As I sit here, I have literally just found out that Matt Smith has been cast in a ‘key’ role in Star Wars episode 9.
My mind has gone into overdrive.
Who is he playing?

As a Brit, my mind has immediately flown to First Order/Imperial.
Could Hux be getting a rival?
Could Supreme Leader Ren be promoting someone over Hux?

Then my husband came up with an idea and one I think fans would love.
Considering where they are thinking about taking any future films, could he possibly be getting cast as Grand Admiral Thrawn?


We have yet to see a Grand Admiral in this trilogy but unless they are going to do some major playing around with timelines, Matt is just too young and Thrawn is out of his timeline considering Star Wars Rebels.

Interestingly, with the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise in April 2014.

Meaning that anything with Thrawn in it was now ‘not’ Canon and open to interpretation in anything new and Thrawn has long been considered by Lucasfilm when developing projects like Star Wars Rebels.

How he would be written into episode 9 is still a mystery to me, but the thought of Matt bringing him to life with the blue skin and flaming red eyes against the white uniform is quite a delicious thought.

Anyway, probably got that one completely wrong.
Watch this space.

But with that news and the leaked images from the set this week, we are now well and truly into ‘speculation’ about what to expect in episode 9.
Only 16 months to go!!