Two Hard Ones and Two Floppy Ones..!

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Get your mind out of the gutter! “Two hard ones and two floppy ones” are the words a doctor said to me this morning when I went to discuss the results of my heart scan, and she was talking about my arteries. I now have to be referred to a cardiologist for further tests, although I was warned that the local NHS waiting list is very VERY long. In the meantime I’ve been put back on statins – oh joy, the delights of leg muscle cramps to look forward to…

However, this week is all about perspectives, and while I moan about a few aches and pains I’m horribly aware that some very good friends of mine are, at this very moment, with their newborn in a London ICU waiting to hear when he will endure a complicated heart operation. I am now counting my blessings and crossing all of my fingers (and toes) for a positive outcome for this lovely family. Life really can be so unfair at times…

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Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside…

DSCN0044Despite chilly weather, with a strong wind, when you’re invited on a last-minute trip to the beach it’d be rude to turn it down, which is how I ended up spending a lovely day walking miles along a blustery promenade, dodging the waves lashing over a sea wall along the Essex coastline!

It felt good to clear out my lungs with all that fresh air, and it was actually very therapeutic listening to the sounds of the water and seagulls. A hike back across wet sand can build up quite an appetite, so lunch in a nearby restaurant was an additional and very welcome treat.

What a fabulous way to spend a Friday…

Affairs of The Heart…

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The Cardio Respiratory Department at the General Hospital wasn’t my favourite place to be at 8.30am on a Wednesday, especially when it was already nice and sunny outside, but as I needed to have a heart scan I guess it was the best place for it.

The last time I whipped my top off in front of other people was in Gran Canaria last December, while lounging on a sunbed under a massive palm tree beside a fabulous infinity pool, which was a whole lot more fun than being topless while laying on a hard hospital bed in a cold, clinical environment in front of a Cardiology Technician. However, needs must and all that…

The process itself, laying on my left with my arm above my head while having an ultrasound of my heart wasn’t painful, just a little uncomfy and not the best environment for making ‘small talk’. Fortunately it was all over and done with relatively swiftly and now I have to face the next bit – the two week wait while the scans are thoroughly examined by a specialist and the results sent through to my GP.

No point in worrying about it though – I’ll deal with whatever I need to when the time comes, but for now work beckons. That winter break in Lanzarote won’t fund itself!

“I’m a Celebrity…”

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Well, not me (obviously) but King of the Jungle Carl Fogarty. The superbike champion was the special guest at a local classic car and motorbike event I went to at the weekend and I have to say he was utterly charming; spending lots of time chatting to fans and signing the obligatory endless autographs.

I’d attended the previous two events put on by a nearby bike dealership, and had enjoyed those, so I’d already decided I was going to pop down there even before the ‘star attraction’ was announced. The weather in the morning was decidedly ‘pants‘ but after lunch the sun came out and off I went – all dressed up in my favourite leather jacket and new skinny jeans! Everywhere you looked was row upon row of shiny 2-wheelers and renovated classic cars. The stage hosted interviews with a variety of speedway riders, stunt bikers and (of course) Mr Fogarty. There was also a live band to keep the crowds entertained and for the kiddies there were ice creams and a bouncy castle. Stalls included fundraisers from Help for Heroes, Air Ambulance and the Fire Brigade along with a variety of meat and beer outlets.

The whole event was a huge success for everyone involved, and from my own point of view I had a fabulous afternoon surrounded by chrome, leather and uniforms. Sometimes you just have to pinch yourself…

Musical Bingo…

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No, I’d never heard of it either but nowadays I’m up for most things and as this new experience was part of a Quiz Night in aid of a local wildlife charity I was more than ready for the challenge.

Our venue was one of those quaint village halls; the ones equipped with a stage with red curtains and little wooden steps at the sides; and armed with a vast array of shockingly unhealthy, but delicious, snacks and drinks our team was raring to go. However, despite initial brilliance in Round One, and exceptional observational skills in the Picture Round, we were eventually beaten by several other teams in the quiz section…and then, after the obligatory raffle, came the musical bingo…

Each team were given a sheet full of song titles and artistes and the idea was to listen to snippets of songs being played, crossing off the ones you identify on your own sheet; the winner being the first to get a line, and then a full house. Singing and dancing was enthusiastically encouraged, and there was even a conga line at one point. We’d have been good at Name That Tune, as we instantly recognised the majority of the tracks, but unfortunately were beaten to the finish by another table. However, all was not lost as we managed to come second and were all awarded fabulous choccy Easter eggs – result!

Working Girl…

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When salaried jobs aren’t easy to come by and you don’t want to rely on friends, family, a spouse or the State to subsidise you, there is an option which often gets overlooked; self-employment.

While there are negative aspects, such as the fact that if you can’t work due to illness there’s no sick pay – no work means no money – being freelance allows you the kind of flexibility that you can’t usually get from doing a 9-5 job. Working for several different companies or organisations means you can very quickly build up your paid hours, which all helps towards a nice, healthy bank balance, and if you’re willing to take on a bit of extra training the opportunities can potentially be endless.

You can actually accumulate quite an impressive workload in a relatively short period of time, especially if you’re savvy enough to juggle things around to suit your needs. This means that you can easily save up enough cash to not only cover the bills but to be able to afford treats; my particular favourite is holidays. If you’re prepared to work hard, it enables you to play even harder!