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mumofthreedevils

Mum of three.
X graphic designer turned mum. When the need to go back out to work arrived, I became a Clinical Support Worker completely by accident. I was a support worker for 9 years and was actually awarded Clinical Support Worker of the Year 2011 at my trust.
I have just completed a 2 year University course as a Trainee Nursing Associate and now I am one of the countries first registered Nurse Associates. I am also a Paediatric based Nurse Associate which makes me quite rare. I have been married for 25 years.

AVOCADO!

So, during lockdown I have attempted to start growing avocados.
I’ve now got three on the go.

The first one took about 7 weeks to show any signs of life but it eventually sprouted a root and a shoot.
However, it seems to be struggling a little and on closer inspection today I have decided to persevere with it.

The roots are looking great. In fact there’s no stopping them, which makes me think it’s still trying.


The problem is the shoot. It just didn’t seem to be growing like I thought it should and on closer inspection I discovered that the tip of the shoot had become very brittle, so I snapped it off.
The stem was still green inside and there are also some very promising buds still there.


So, a little more patience is required with this one I think.

BUT…..

The other two are doing great.
They were both started at the same time and only took about three weeks to show any signs of life.
They both now have a good root and one has already sprouted.

I have no idea if I will manage to get any of these to the potting stage or further, but it’s actually quite interesting watching them.

I’ve also potted a mango which is showing some signs of life. There’s a small shoot appearing but I don’t think it’s looking very healthy. I can’t actually get a photo of it yet as it blends into the soil so you can’t see it, but it’s definitely there.
I’ll post a picture if it shows itself a bit more.

GOING WELL

The last couple of weeks have gone pretty well.
It’s been busy at work with the successful return of some of our elective surgeries. It’s gone well and they seem to be slowly increasing in number.

My nightmare that I wrote about in my last post did not happen.
In fact, quite the opposite with parents being more than understanding about the current covid related restrictions that have had to be put into place.

The only thing that is still a bit of a struggle is the constant wearing of masks!
I use my own mask when entering and leaving the hospital and then I have to wear a surgical mask for my entire 12.5 hour shift.
By mid afternoon I’ve had enough and I’m internally screaming to get the bloody thing off!!

The relief of finally walking out of the building at the end of the day and taking the mask off and breathing fresh cool air again is the equivalent of getting home and ripping your bra off!!

You girls will relate!!

Anyway, that’s work.
Home life continues to go well. Things are under control.
Ian continues to effectively work from home and he’s been incredibly busy.
All three girls continue to work and Dharma and Marjorie are gearing up to go back to Uni in Sept.

Cinema is now trying to get the cogs working again.
The first big movie to be released since lockdown is out today. Don’t know when I’ll get to see Tenet, but I hope it does well and attracts people back to the cinema’s.

There’s also a snippet of news about Adam Driver!!
They are starting up production again on ‘The Last Duel’, the film he was making with Matt Damon as lockdown struck. They had just finished filming in France and were about to move the final part of the production to Ireland when it had to be shut down and Adam disappeared into a black hole with his family in New York.
Production has started up again this week in Ireland with isolation accommodation for cast and crew being organised in a posh hotel. Filming is to continue in Dublin, Meath and Tipperary, and Ardmore Studios in Wicklow.

This is good news and it also means that we will, no doubt, be getting some fan photos of Adam, as he sneeks through the airport!!
I await with baited breath.

Anyway, on a much needed 2 days off and I’m going to meet a friend for a drink and some dinner at our local later.

So, life is not very exciting at the moment, but at least we have it under control and everyone is coping with the ‘new normal’.

THE STRANGEST NIGHTMARE

So yesterday was a much cooler day at work but it was a very busy day.

I found out that we have been given the green light to start our planned surgeries again which will start on Monday!! First time since lockdown!
Strangely enough, I’m now actually looking forward to Monday. I love doing the surgeries so the thought of a pre-lockdown, normal day for me was quite exciting.
I had a quick discussion with my boss about some changes we are having to make because of the COVID situation and social distancing and I came home quite buzzed about it.

However…..

I had the strangest dream last night. Technically it was more like a nightmare as my brain was obviously overthinking how things were going to go on Monday.
I had visions of each patient turning up with dozens of family members who I was having to ask to leave and then they would all sneak back in again when my back was turned.
I was spending all my time re-directing people off of the ward and in the end, none of the paperwork got done and the patients weren’t ready to go to theatre when they were called and I literally woke up having palpitations!!

It’s stupid. I know Monday is going to run smoothly.
I’m in on Sunday so I can make sure all the paperwork is put together and ready to go and prepare as much as possible beforehand, so Monday should hopefully run quite smoothly.

I’m still excited…… I think!!

I’M MELTING!!!

Wicked Witch GIF - Melting WizardOfOz WickedWitch GIFs

So!! First day back on the ward after three weeks off.

OMG!

We are currently not allowed air conditioning or fans due to the pandemic, and with the build up to storms late in the afternoon the ward was sweltering.
We kept windows open but curtains closed and we turned off as many lights as possible, which helped a little.

From the minute I stepped onto the ward I felt like I was melting the entire day.
My mask needed changing frequently because it just became saturated with sweat. The sweat rolled down my face and accumulated in my mask.
I was continuously having to wipe my eyes because salty sweat was stinging them!

I weighed myself when I got up this morning and just out of interest, when I got home I jumped on the scales again.
Considering I had drunk at least 2 litres of water at work and I’d had a late lunch at about 16:30, I had actually sweated off over 3 pounds!!

Anyway, with the leftover chinese and Budwieser I have just guzzled, I’ve probably piled it right back on again!!

Ah well. Got to do it all again tomorrow, then off for two days.

AND JUST LIKE THAT…

And just like that, I’m coming to the end of almost three weeks of annual leave.

It’s been an incredibly busy three weeks. In fact, I feel like I’m going back to work for a break!!

As I sit here trying to think about everything I’ve been up to, I am struggling.
I know I’ve done a lot, but, because I’ve been doing it at my own pace and not working it around normal working days, I am finding it difficult to actually put down in writing.

So let’s see….
The first week was a blur.
A 12 yard skip was delivered on the first day and we filled it with lots of household rubbish after clearing out bedrooms and garage and we also had a good hack back of all the shrubs and bushes in the front and the back gardens.

We also invested in a new car, a new 4 piece suite for the living room and a new bed base for our room after the divan base decided it had had enough of two heavy weights using it for the last 10 years.

The second week was more of a sort out and tidy up week.
The garage has had yet another sort out.
The dining room has been reorganised and is now more of a hobby snug.
The living room has been prepared to receive the new suite when it arrives in around 8 weeks time.
Dharma’s room has been ‘gutted’ and moved around and our room has been reorganised to accommodate Ian’s modelling/gaming hobby and set him up for working from home on a long term basis.
It’s also designed to ‘hide’ it all from view so that I can actually relax in my own bedroom.

The third week has been a tidying week.
Getting back on top of all the washing and ironing and I’ve fine tuned the back garden and even put up lots of solar lights so it looks like a little grotto at night.

In fact, the only thing left to do is fine tune the front garden, and to be honest, that can wait. It’s not horrendous. The worst part has been done with the hacking back in week one.

All of this has been interspersed with a few nights out.
An afternoon at our local pub over the road. First time since lockdown. It’s good to see them so busy and good to see how people have been respecting their new COVID rules. I hope we don’t get forced into a local lockdown and lose this bit of freedom again.
We also went into town to see how some of our favourite pubs have been doing.
Compared to the nightclubs or ‘youngsters’ pubs that have been ‘heaving’ and in no way social distancing, our favourites have been much more sensible and are following strict social distancing measures. It was lovely to get out and meet up with a few friends.

Me and Ian went out for our first meal together since lockdown.
It was our 26th wedding anniversary and we decided to go to Miller and Carter for something a little more special than our usual choice of places.
Made even more special by our waitress recognising me as one of the nurses who have looked after her child a few times and giving us an NHS discount and a big thank you that I hadn’t expected.

I’ve had weekly visits from an old friend for a cuppa and a movie.
I’ve generally just done normal things at a leisurely pace. Things that normally feel like more of a chore because you are ‘having’ to do them on days off and fitting them between shifts.

This annual leave was booked for a completely different reason originally.
I had originally intended to sit and binge the Olympics, but due to the Pandemic, that has been postponed until next year (hopefully).
I have already requested my annual leave to do it again and fingers crossed it actually happens next year. They can’t put it off again because the Commonwealth Games are due in 2022. If the Olympics don’t happen next year, I can see it being completely cancelled until 2024.

So, what should have been a very relaxing 3 weeks, turned into 3 of the busiest weeks I’ve had outside of work in a long time!
However, the house has been kicked into shape and I’m feeling really chilled.
Now I have to think about getting ready for work tomorrow.
Got to cut my nails, get my uniform out, set my alarm for 05:30.
I’m going to enjoy a few glasses of gin and maybe a final takeout this evening.

Fingers crossed for a relatively calm day tomorrow. I think it’s going to take me a while to get my head back in the game!!!

PRODUCTIVE FIRST WEEK

First week of annual leave is finished and what a busy week it’s been.
Lots of changes around the house and gardens and still going!!

We had a 12 yard skip delivered on the first day, last Wednesday. It was a bigger skip than intended because they don’t like garden rubbish in the 10 yard skips for some reason, anyway, it was just as well we got the bigger skip because we filled it!!

Weds, Thurs and Fri last week were spent hacking back the front and back gardens. They haven’t had a good hack back for a couple of years. I had intended to do it gradually this year but after lockdown stopped the green pickups, the gardens took a back seat and went wild! The amount of cutting back that needed doing meant a skip was our only option. We also had a pile of rubbish in the back garden that had built up over lockdown as we sorted through things in the house and garage.

These are just a few pictures to give you an idea of just how much we cut back.
Ordinarily I would have kept the budlea because the butterflies absolutely LOVE it, however, it gets hacked back every two years and was due to be cut back before winter this year and as we don’t know what the situation in the country will be, we took the opportunity to do it while we had the skip.

Luckily we got all this done while the weather was good. It then started raining over the weekend and if we’d left it any later we probably wouldn’t have got it all done.
The garden now looks like a hurricane has come through but the fine tidy up can be done now when I have a little more time.

After the garden we moved our attention to the house.
Some shopping on Friday afternoon and Saturday saw us purchase a new three piece suite for our living room and a new bed base. For the last 15 years we’ve had chocolate leather sofa’s. We saw this suite and fell in love. It’s so comfortable and colourful and now that the kids are old enough to have a little bit of respect for it, we decided that this would be our new addition.

The arm chair will be Mummy’s new domain when watching movies!!
Unfortunately we’ve got 8 – 10 weeks to wait until it arrives.

Saturday proved to be an expensive day because we also went out looking at cars.
I had a budget set aside for a new car but hadn’t intended on actually getting one until Ian goes back to work which probably won’t be happening until the end of the year or even early next year. We had only intended to get some ideas of what kind of car to get, however, we stumbled on a car that was too good an opportunity to miss.

This is Evin (long story) and we picked him up yesterday.
He may only be a 1.0 but he’s really nippy and he’s really pretty. He has half leather seats and I can use my Spotify account via blue tooth and the stereo sounds great. He’s only 4 years old and my insurance has halved!! Road tax is only £20 for the year! Perfect for running too and from work.
The only downside is that all the kids fit in this one comfortably. (Kidding!!!)

So, the attention then moved to the house.
A reorganisation of furniture in the living room and dining room was first.
The dining room now has one of the two seater leather sofas in it and it has become a bit of a hobby snug. Model collections, musical instruments etc.
We are moving a large sideboard into the garage at the weekend to create a little more space in the living room.

Tuesday was spent in Dharma’s room. It needed gutting and she wanted to have a move around. We were ruthless. 5 huge bags of rubbish went into the skip along with her old wardrobe that was falling apart. We replaced the wardrobe with a spare one from my room. This took all day and at one point I really didn’t think we would get it finished.

This coming weekend we will be working on our room.
The old broken divan bed base went into the skip while we had it and our new solid wooden bed frame will be arriving in a week or two.
With the spare wardrobe now in dharma’s room and the divan out of the way, we have a chance to organise the rest of the room which has been taken over by Ian’s home work space and boxes of his modelling/gaming hobby.

Tomorrow will see the arrival of some Ikea Billy’s with doors and a new desk top so that we can create a better working environment for Ian now that he is working from home indefinitely and storage for all his gaming crap…. I mean models!!
Once this is sorted, the only thing left to do will be to get the bed base in place when it arrives.

Then I can slow down a little and pootle around at my own pace just tidying things up and hopefully, my last week of annual leave will be a little more relaxing!! Although I’ll probably have heart failure when I have a chance to think about the money we’ve just spent!!!

CATCHUP

It’s been just over a month since I last posted anything.
I’ve had a bit of time away from social media. I’ve lurked a bit to keep up with things, but I have generally kept my mouth shut.

So, what’s been happening?
Not a lot really. Work has been going OK. It’s far from normal, but we won’t have normal for a long time yet, so better to just get used to it. Masks are now worn at all times. It’s draining and makes you really tired. Forget FULL PPE which consists of fit tested mask, goggles or visor, cap, shoe covers, full length long sleeved gown and gloves. The longest I’ve spent in this getup is 45 minutes and I nearly passed out!!
So imagine a 12.5 hour shift in a surgical mask and ask yourself, do I really have the right to complain if I’m asked to wear a mask for an hour or two when I go shopping? The answer is quite simple, no you don’t. So when the new government guideline comes into force next week, don’t be a dick, just wear your fucking mask!!

Anyway, I finally got a haircut! You have no idea what a relief that was.
I keep my hair VERY short and it was already due a cut as we went into lockdown back in March.

As you can see, I really needed it. It’s surprising what a lift a haircut can give you. I think it shows in my face.

I went to a friends birthday picnic down at the river last weekend and it was a wonderful afternoon. Great weather, fantastic friends, music, food and booze. What more could you ask for?

Unfortunately, I was kept awake that night by an annoying tickly cough. When I got up for work it seemed to have gone and I enjoyed my milky coffee and thought nothing of it, but as I got to work, the cough started again and I coughed my way through handover (in a mask) and then thought that it was probably a good idea if I got swabbed. So I was swabbed and sent home until I got the result.
This meant that me and everyone in my household had to also isolate until I got that result.
Poor Dharma lost a shift at work and me and Murron had to miss another friends socially distanced birthday gathering at a local pub on the Monday evening.
Thankfully the swab result was negative and I was back at work on Weds.

I’ve had the weekend off and went to yet another socially distanced gathering for another friends birthday last night. Didn’t get home until nearly 3 am! and slept in until 11 am. Cannot remember the last time I did that. It was a lovely evening, with lots of laughs and we simply just lost track of the time.

Image may contain: Micah Pates and Debbie Crawley
Mum and the birthday boy. Happy 21st Micah!

I have just two more 12.5 hour shifts on Monday and Tuesday this week and then I have three weeks of annual leave!! It was originally booked off so that I could enjoy the Olympics, but obviously things have changed.
We have hired a skip, that will be arriving on Wednesday, so that we can get a lot of clearing done. There’s a huge pile of general household rubbish that’s built up in the back garden as we’ve slowly been organising the house and garage during lockdown and we plan to do a lot of hacking back of the shrubs and trees in the front and back gardens.
There’s no way we could get all this to the tidy tip with the current limitations on visits because of COVID, so a skip made sense.
It just means that instead of putting my feet up and watching the Olympics, I will now be busting a gut and working.
Strangely enough, I’m actually really looking forward to it!!

I must remember to do before and after pictures.

I CAN’T WIN

Forget my ‘opinions’ on recent events, it looks like I even ruffled some feathers by intimating I was excited about the cinemas opening on July 10th as a Facebook status!!

Quite frankly, yes I am!!

As someone who has continued to work bloody hard throughout a demanding situation, in a hospital while the rest of the country sit at home and soak up the sun while ‘staying safe’, damn straight I’m looking forward to a bit of normality.

It’s been made doubly hard by the fact that my body has decided, that now would be a good time to go full on menopausal!!

I see my Mum and Dad regularly and can go sit in their garden and ‘catch up’.
I live with my husband and my three grown kids who, quite frankly, I could do with actually getting away from at times, so the prospect of spending a couple of hours in the cinema and getting back to one of my hobbies is very appealing.

And I will NOT apologise for it.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Right, after the last few weeks on social media I’m really at the end of my tether when it comes to my own mental health, so I’ve taken the decision the ‘step back’ a little.
I’m not deleting any of my accounts but I’m just not going to be posting or responding to anything negative.

I have found the last few weeks quite worrying and upsetting.
I consider myself to be one of the most accepting and loving people on the planet, but anything I say on social media is receive with ‘hate’ and people disagreeing with my ‘opinion’ in a most unsavoury way. I have no concerns about people disagreeing with my opinions, but I do have a problem when they attack me for my opinions instead of trying to ‘discuss’ their opinions.

The last few days have given me food for thought and I thought I would leave you with this.
Always look a little deeper before you attack.

I have just finished 3 long days at work. A total of 37.5 hours. I’m tired. I’ve done chores and now I’ve had time to think, it is time for me to say something.

I had a really interesting discussion about current events with some colleagues at work yesterday, and I was reminded of a London stage show that I went to a few years, and also 2 of my favourite films as I was growing up.

The stage show was ‘The Jolsen Story’ and the films were ‘The Jolsen Story and Jolsen Sings Again’

Before I go any further, I can see the faces of everyone reading.
The wide eyes and the ‘OMG’ how could she even say that expressions.

Hear me out.

During that lunch hour, it occurred to me how wrong I may have been, enjoying these films as I grew up. After all ‘blackface’ is one of the worst forms of caricature and racism there is!

However, when I got home, as a complete coincidence, I read an article about Al Jolsen.

Al Jolson - publicity.JPG

At a time when black people were banned from starring on the Broadway stage, he promoted the play by black playwright Garland Anderson, which became the first production with an all-black cast ever produced on Broadway. He brought an all-black dance team from San Francisco that he tried to feature in his Broadway show. He demanded equal treatment for Cab Calloway, with whom he performed a number of duets in his movie ‘The Singing Kid’, and he was the only white man allowed into an all black nightclub in Harlem. He was so active in fighting Racism, but people today can’t see past the blackface.

So you see, don’t be swayed by everything you see going on in the news.
Do a little research. Dig a little deeper.

I can stand proud, saying I loved these films.
I completely understand why blackface is so racist, BUT, at the same time, this performer was using his ‘privilege’ to stand up for the black community at a time when it was EXTREMELY dangerous to do so!

I am now going to be a bit of a lurker. I will watch what is going on on the social media platforms I follow, but I will remain silent on current events.
I will,, however, be educating myself as I go and will not be so quick to judge things in the future.

MMMM JUST A THOUGHT

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely shocking!
And for good reason.

The Black Lives Matter campaign, spurred on by yet another black death in police custody and every day, a new video of white privilege being recorded and released onto the internet for the whole world to see.
It actually makes me sick to my stomach.

Anyway, with the BLM campaign at the forefront of the news, it has now highlighted other areas that have been campaigned for and ignored for years.
Statues that honor men and women for their achievements, are now having those achievements questioned, and rightly so.

It all started with the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, being torn down by protestors and dumped in the harbor.
Edward Colston was honored as a ‘philanthropist’ because he donated money to charitable causes which supported those who shared his political and religious views.
What it doesn’t do, is tell you how he was a merchant and Tory member of parliament, involved in the slave trade.

There’s a whole list of statues that are in question.

Local authorities in London have already taken down a statue of Robert Milligan from West India Quay. Robert Milligan was a Scottish merchant, ship-owner and slave-factor, and was the driving force behind the construction of the West India Docks in London.

A statue of King Charles the II in Soho Square is on the list.
The monarch “founded the Royal African Company which transported approximately 212,000 slaves, of whom 44,000 died en route between the years 1662 and 1773”.

Christopher Columbus in Belgrave Square.
Columbus’s voyages are considered some of the most important events in world history, kickstarting modern globalism. This is why we have statues of him, however, what is not commonly known or taught in schools was that he was a colonizer and slave trader. He may have found the Americas but he became an abuser and exterminator of Native American indigenous communites.

These are just a handful of examples. There are statues, monuments and place names all over the country that need to be seriously looked at.

As the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stated “It’s a sad truth that much of our wealth was derived from the slave trade – but this does not have to be celebrated in our public spaces.”

Very true, but I have to ask…… AND PLEASE HEAR ME OUT

What is going to happen to all of these statues?
Yes, after educating myself, I know exactly why these statues and monuments need to be removed or re-named, BUT, they are inexorably part of history.

Are we not doing a disservice to ourselves and our youth by eliminating them from history. I’ve always been taught that if we forget our past, we are destined to make the same mistakes in the future and history is always written by the ‘winner’.

Personally, I think that these statues should be collated into one place. A hall of shame, so to speak.
They should be surrounded by a full historically correct telling of each person’s life and exactly why the statue was removed from it’s pedestal.
School history books should be changed to reflect a more accurate telling of an individuals mark on history.

There are going to be a lot of changes in the coming weeks or months and the news is going to continue to be hard to watch.
I just hope that we find balance at some point and the need for these protests subsides.