Bystander Intervention Training…

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If you witnessed someone being bullied by their partner would you say anything, or turn a blind eye? Do you make sure your friends get home safely after a night out, or do you simply assume they’re old enough to look after themselves? If you see an extremely drunk girl being led out of a venue by a man do you assume she’s OK or do you voice your concerns to a doorman? Those are the type of questions posed at today’s workshop on ‘Bystander Intervention’.

We learnt that even a small action could make a massive difference and it was interesting to discover how to use safe and appropriate intervention skills; something which is quite empowering. Of course, it’s not an exact science and at the end of the day you need to ensure your own safety when choosing whether or not to act, however, if everyone took a moment to assess a potentially challenging situation there’s a chance that you might be able to make a positive difference to someone’s life.
#ItEndsNow

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Wired For Sound…

Front view male figure torso with holter monitor and ekg/heart rhythm inset

At my scheduled cardiology appointment I had the usual ECG with a side-order of echocardiogram before spending half an hour discussing my recent health issues with the heart valve nurse. I was reassured to discover that the leaky valves are no worse, however due to some new chest ‘niggles,’ along with swollen ankles and the cough that I’ve had since January, I’m now going to be asked to return in a couple of weeks time to have a heart monitor fitted. I shall apparently be wearing my funky tech for two days so they can see what’s actually going on with my ticker, so that’ll be fun.

In less exciting news I’m also going to be facing an invasive angiogram to find out whether my arteries are furring up like an old kettle; which could explain my symptoms. I have to admit I’m less than keen but I have little choice if I want my cardiologist to make a full and accurate diagnosis. Although it’s positive that the NHS is doing all it can to check every inch of my insides, it’s not a procedure I relish.

Oh well, at least for today I’ve come away with a little bag full of new tablets to try out in the meantime, so hopefully by the time I have to have my arteries filled with something colourful that’ll show up on an xray I might’ve stopped hacking my lungs up. Fingers crossed!

A&E Wasn’t On My To Do List Today…

Accident and Emergency sign

I’ve known about my heart issues for a couple of years, and am used to the frequent palpitations, so when my ticker started feeling ‘unusual‘ at lunchtime I was a little concerned. I’m a firm believer in the adage ‘you know your own body’, and mine was decidedly not right, so when I also started feeling hot and cold and then giddy and faint I figured I needed to get myself seen asap.

Within 10 minutes I was getting into a taxi and 10 minutes after that I was in A&E, struggling to remember my address, shaking like a leaf and clearly looking like hell. All credit to the doctors and nurses at the hospital because I was fast-tracked through, having all manner of tests done until I finally conked out. Luckily, a nearby paramedic helped the nurse get me onto a trolley so I could be swiftly moved to a more appropriate examination area. Once hooked up to the machines I was eventually lucid enough to ring a friend, who spent the next 7 hours by my side.

After constant monitoring, endless blood pressure tests, an xray, and two extremely painful blood tests I was finally given the good news that I hadn’t had a heart attack and was given antibiotics for an infection before being allowed home. I’m very, very grateful to all of the doctors and nurses who, despite being busy, made sure that I was well looked after throughout. I’m also very thankful that I have such wonderful friends…

Keeping Up With New Trends…

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It never ceases to amaze me how fast social media trends come and go. Long gone are the Myspace days and even Friends Reunited fell by the wayside, however, I’m trying my best to remain ‘in the loop’ as social media skills are highly transferable in the workplace nowadays.

I must admit, that conversations with my tech-savvy daughters about what’s currently in or out of favour is a bit like navigating your way around a foreign country with an extremely limited knowledge of the language, but I’m doing my best to keep up.

Alongside the essential Facebook and Twitter accounts, plus LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, WordPress and Blogger, I recently found myself signing up for Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr. It’s now becoming so time-consuming updating everything that I’m having to use a social media management tool! On the bright side, that’s another new ability to add to my technical expertise…

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Indoor Gardening…

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Since re-vamping my home over the last couple of years, including installing dozens of new house-plants, I’ve inadvertently created a lovely hobby for myself; indoor gardening. It’s amazing how these things can escalate, but if you buy a couple of spider plants here and some peace lilies there, before you know it you’re living in a fabulous jungle. What’s more, there’s something quite cathartic in snipping off the odd dead leaf here and there, and keeping everything looking luscious.

I used to have house-plants many years ago but life, family, work and so on got in the way of tending to them, and inevitably, as each one bit the dust I just didn’t bother to replace it. Now I have fewer distractions and have more disposable income to spend on the things I really enjoy, which means that not only does the house look green and fresh inside, thanks to the purifying qualities of plants the air I breathe is better too. It seems that the more I look after them, the more they look after me!

Career Break…

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Well, after thirteen months in the department my ‘temporary’ contract finally came to an end I’m now taking the opportunity to have some much needed R ‘n’ R before I begin the next phase of my career.

After an emotional final week, when I was treated to a fabulous night out with the girls, followed by a cooked breakfast in the canteen and then a third treat; a G&T in the bar where I was unexpectedly presented with gifts and a card; I’ve shut down my lovely new PC for the very last time and am now taking a bit of time out to decide what my next step will be.

I’ll continue to do a bit of casual work here and there so I have a few pennies coming in, but it’s important that after working so hard to build up my experience, (and my bank balance), I now step back, re-focus and look forward to the next exciting job opportunity.

For now, however, I’m just going to sit down, relax, and enjoy what’s left of the British
Summer…

Tacos, Tortillas and Tequila…

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Just had another departmental night out on the town. It’s a hard life getting chauffeur driven to parties, all paid for by your employer, but somebody has to do it.

We’d all met up for pre-meal cocktails at a nearby bar before inflicting the unsuspecting Mexican restaurant with our raucous laughter at snapchat while wearing sombreros. Enid Blyton would’ve had a field day writing Six Go Mad in Mexico, although it clearly wouldn’t have been a very suitable read for children.

It was a vegetarian delight to see so many different options on the menu, so it would’ve been rude not to try as many of them as was humanly possible (thank heavens for elasticated waistbands). The tortilla chips and salsas were a welcome appetiser while the cheese quesadillas with chilli cheese fries certainly soaked up the tequila margaritas (and beers!) There was only one dessert I was interested in and that was the tequila sorbet – oh my poor liver.