These past twelve months have been a little up and down. On the positive side I’ve enjoyed not one but two fabulous, luxury holidays in the Canary Islands but I’ve also said sad farewells to a couple of very dear friends. I finished a fixed-term contract for a Social Science department, where I would have loved to have stayed, but within weeks was offered a brand new position with a massive Computer Science department on the same campus. I’ve also seen a lot more of the NHS than I anticipated, however I’m hopeful that 2018 will see a significant decrease in medical appointments.
This year I enjoyed the company of an old mate who stayed with me during the summer. It was good being able to share some quality time with her and we spent many an evening putting the world to rights. My gorgeous daughters remain, as always, my raison d’être and I’m eternally grateful for the wonderful friends who are always there when I need them.
In July I was privileged to attend one of the annual Graduation ceremonies at the university where I work, and I’ve now decided that in the summer of 2018 I will finally put on the full Harry Potter outfit and officially collect my Social Science degree on the tenth anniversary of my own graduation; which I was unable to attend back in 2008.
There’s been many highs, a few lows, but I’m extremely optimistic about the future and I’m already looking forward to whatever exciting new things the next twelve months will bring…
“And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.”
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…
It’s wonderful when your grown-up children want to regularly pop round, but it’s an even bigger compliment when their friends ask if they can come along and meet you too! The fact that I always provide a variety of delicious cakes and fancy biscuits might help, but they always seem to enjoy coming home and therefore I suspect it’s potentially down to previous, complimentary post-visit reviews which led to me meeting their lovely chum. Not only was I treated to an additional guest, I was given a gift bag filled with chocolatey goodies by my lovely girlies which was very unexpected, but much appreciated. As usual, we chatted about anything and everything, and yet again time just flew by.
I’m so grateful that I have my gorgeous daughters as I’m well aware that there are women out there who sadly haven’t been blessed with offspring, and I can’t imagine how unfulfilled they might feel. Bringing up children is a roller-coaster ride, often with as many downs as there are ups, but eventually, whether you like it or not, they’ll fly the nest. However, if you love them enough they’ll always find their way back home. As the saying goes, “Home is where the heart is…”
Unlike some, I may not be able to list more than a hundred names in my circle of friends, but I’m hugely grateful to have the small, but perfectly formed, group of people in my life who are always there whenever I’m in need.
After several weeks of enduring a persistent cough, and assuming that there was no reason to trouble the NHS because “It’s just a virus” and “There’s a lot of it about“; not to mention the fact that it’d be easier to get a date with Johnny Depp than a GP appointment these days; I found myself two days ago hardly able to breathe and feeling extremely unwell.
Despite it being late in the evening, my selfless chum came to pick me up, took me to the hospital walk-in centre, and then waited two and a half hours with me until I was finally examined, before returning me safely back home. As it turns out I needed antibiotics, so it really was necessary for me to seek medical assistance asap to avoid things turning nasty.
I’m a very lucky lady indeed and I’ll never take my mates for granted. I really do appreciate everything they do for me. Thank you…!
I’m extremely lucky to have such lovely friends, especially when I get treated to a pre-birthday afternoon tea at a local 4-star hotel. I was advised against having any lunch as this particular venue provides five courses; amuse bouche, scones with clotted cream and jam, a selection of cakes, finger sandwiches and a fruit trifle!
The place was empty when we arrived so we practically had our own staff, who were kept busy fetching fresh pots of hot water which we used for sampling a range of 6 speciality teas (the amaretto cherry tea was my favourite). The amuse bouche was a delightful shot glass of tiny, mouthwatering melon and pineapple chunks. This was followed by freshly cut sandwiches with the crusts off, and then the massive freshly-baked scones followed by cream cakes and tarts. Already bursting, it was a culinary challenge to complete this marathon eating session, but the mini-trifles were simply asking to be eaten. Not only did we fill our faces, we had plenty of laughs too. As well as being treated to afternoon tea I was also given lovely birthday cards and a birthday cake to bring home.
Tomorrow I shall be another year older, another year wiser, and another year blessed with genuinely wonderful people around me…
When you’re juggling several jobs, feeling starved of a decent social life and the weather’s not been as ‘spring-like’ as you’d hoped, nothing cheers you up quite like having a good old natter with a couple of close friends; especially if it involves cakes. Today’s delicious treats were coffee topped profiteroles and raspberry éclairs, both filled with lashings of fresh cream. Afternoon tea does not involve calorie counting, and it never should.
We always manage to have a laugh and cover a wide variety of topics; everything from dead pigeons to farting in the bath. In fact, I doubt that there’s any subject we wouldn’t be able to discuss, and I find that very liberating. In a world of political correctness gone mad, it’s a relief to be able to ‘tell it how it is‘ knowing you won’t be judged. In fact, it feels so good that afternoon tea with friends should be available on prescription. It’d save the NHS millions.
It’s one thing when your favourite famous people start dropping like flies; Lemmy (saw Motorhead in the 80s) and David Bowie (it was just a couple of weeks ago when I was watching Labyrinth for the umpteenth time) and then Harry Potter’s ‘Professor Snape’ (my ‘weird crush‘); but it’s quite another when the people you hung out with during your teens are suddenly taken far too soon. These aren’t lads and lasses who were several years older than me, but people my age for goodness sake! Even though I’m no spring chicken, I’m not exactly reaching for the zimmer frame just yet, but the sad news of old friends passing away is a very unwelcome reminder that our time on this planet is relatively brief.
With this sobering thought in mind, I’m now more determined than ever to go way out of my comfort zone from now on, cramming as much as I can into each day, each week, each month… I want to explore new places, meet new people, do exciting new things and really LIVE my life. As from today I’ll be seriously raising my game, and seeing just what this middle aged peroxide blonde is actually capable of. Bring it on!