Monthly Archives: March 2016

You gotta work

I have had a rather varied career background but one that essentially is linked by dealing directly with people – customers, clients, members. From club manager (see the photo above of me and baby Lulu doing the guest list at Fabric’s birthday), to solicitor, to judge, to industrial officer at a trade union. I have been really lucky that in the majority of my jobs I have always got on extremely well with all my bosses and found them to be very supportive. I have learnt really useful things from them all that help me daily deal with work. And with life in general to be honest. Here is a little summary of them;

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Work Christmas Party

Never be afraid of the phone –  When I was training to be a solicitor this  is what my trainer told me on my first day so I can’t be the only one who sometimes feels anxious about it can I? Am I really the only one that occasionally just dreads  answering the phone? Arghhhh what if it’s someone with a question that I can’t answer?  What if it’s that person I already spoke with and they don’t like the advice I gave? But in reality you can’t let the ‘unknown’ dominate your day, the stress is exhausting. And my trainer was right, in my job it was impossible to avoid the phone. It used to ring constantly. I used to spend at least four hours a day on the phone, to clients, to the courts, to barristers, to the Crown Prosecution Service, to the police. Having some really difficult conversations, making proper grown up decisions, giving people news that they weren’t always happy with but that was the career I chose, and I bloody loved it. So I swallowed my fear and eventually I didn’t even contemplate who was on the other end of the phone when it rang,  I just picked it up and got on with it. Trust me, once you conquer your fear life is much easier to deal with, you are in control and if you don’t know the answer? Tell them you’ll call them back!

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Bit of socialising with my colleagues

There are no stupid questions – The theory being it is better to ask the same question a hundred time then guess and get it wrong, this specifically relates to advise giving to clients and members. After all who wants to be sued!! Both my trainer when I was a solicitor and my current boss have told me this, it opens up a dialogue that makes life much easier, you don’t find yourself fretting endlessly about not knowing the answer to a query but being afraid to look stupid in front of your colleagues by asking what you assume to be a ridiculous question, you can feel the heat rising in your face….sound familiar?? Well, I ask as many questions as many times as I want without fear, after all no one is born knowing everything, and once I’ve found out the answer, if it’s something I’m frequently asked I write it down and keep crib notes so the answer is always at hand. When you are providing advice to people there will always be new things to learn, the law changes, case law changes, contracts change, its just the way it is. And if asking for help is just too much then my industry may not be the one for you.

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Coffee makes all the bad things go away

Just start – I have attended numerous courses on ‘smart working’ during my career, usually as part of an enforced professional course! There are so many opinion out there. Do the hardest job first thing in the day, get it out of the way and reward yourself with a muffin (?), or Get the smaller jobs out of the way and spend the rest of the day connecting on the big task, put your email Out of Office on and turn your phone to Voicemail (I’ve never had job where you could be ‘off line’ in that way). Or Write a  To Do list first thing everyday, or Write a To Do list before you go home each night so you can use it the next day. All the conflicting information you could ever hope to get. Another one of my bosses once told me, during a particularly ‘bunny in headlights’ moment with files piling up, phone ringing non stop, that eh only way to start was ‘to start’.And for me , he was right, I can spend half my time trying to write lists, sub lists, timetables etc and they work for some people but not for me. I don’t go in completely blind, I always have some idea of my workload and what is most important to do, but for me I just have to ‘do it’ or it will never get done.

 

 

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My week in pictures

Monday

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At the hospital….again

Tuesday

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Back to work

Wednesday

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My coffee flask becomes my permanent companion

Thursday

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Me and my pal

Friday

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Friday frolics

Saturday

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Off to the big smoke

Sunday

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Lucia went to see her dad

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go

When things are not going to well in life people often take flight, thinking a change of place will solve their problems. We all know that is just not true as we take ‘ourselves’ with us no matter how far we run but, I am a great believer in a change being as good as a rest, hence I have a little list of places I would really like to visit, this year, next year, whenever.

Cheltenham – can take this off list as I was taken for tea at Montpellier Chapter Hotel a few weekends as a treat, it as heaven to get out of house, all I had to do was get dressed and be driven around. Livia came too.

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County Cork, Ireland  – I’ve actually  been here many times as it is where my mum is from, hence Lucia’s red hair, and now I’d like to take her to visit.

Norfolk Coast – I go to Suffolk each year and think now its time to hop over the boarder. I am particularly interested in doing some seal watching and checking out Grey Seal Coffee.

Buckingham – because I live in Buckinghamshire and Muddy Stilettos has loads of fab places on her website to visit in Buckingham.

Cookham – its looks beautiful, its by the river.

San Francisco – wanted to check out the food scene and catch up with super friend and ex colleague who has relocated here with her husband.

Seattle – I adore coffee, enough said.

Boston – looks amazing and want to go whale watching

Florida Keys – to lie on the beaches, read and sleep. Unfortunately not drink Mojitos’ as I gave up drinking 2 years ago but maybe a virgin one.

Cornwall – I know! how have I not been?

Barbados – I have been twice before and it is lovely but now i have found a wonderful blog called Barbados Gluten Free which means I can go and not worry too much about finding suitable food – this is a big factor in choosing where to go on holiday.

Paris – This city doesn’t hold great memories for me but 20 years have passed and I need to face my fear and take away its power. I’m brushing up on my french too.

Christmas Common – well, come on, its all in the name!

 

My week in pictures

Monday

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I made a chocolate, hazelnut & salted caramel tart.

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Ta dah

Tuesday

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Last day of being able to collect Lu from school. I was very sad.

Wednesday

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First day back at work and a coffee catch up with manager.

Thursday

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Lulu was very poorly.

Friday

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Hooray, made it through first week back at work.

Saturday

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I made a lemon meringue pie – gluten free obvs.

Sunday

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Mothers Day care package from ex husband and Lu. 

Working 9 to 5 what a way to make a living

Oh Dolly, I hear ya but, make a living we must, I need to keep baby Lulu is shoes!

So, over the last few months I have been prodded, poked (*snigger*), biopsied, MRI’d, CT scanned, blood tested and x rayed , become a regular at Stoke Mandeville Hospital (an average of twice a week!) Seen five consultants from five departments across four hospitals and now, having looked at all the test results and at all my symptoms a treatment plan had been put in place that I am happy with. It deals with my various conditions and diseases and hopefully will get me fighting fit again, or at least conscious and walking. So I decided it was time to go back to work. I spent three weeks preparing myself and I worked my ass off to be the best version of myself when I got there, healthy, energised, organised and happy.

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I understand that these things don’t just happen by themselves so I put in place some things to help me get to that ‘place’. I took the plunge into learning how to meditate and did an intensive private course with a lovely lady called Emma, she trained with Zenways. It was brilliant and I am now on day 15 of a 30 day meditation challenge, Emma and few of her other clients are doing a 100 day challenge, if you miss a day you go right back to day one again – now that is what I call  incentive to keep going.

I bought myself the Magimix blender that I had been coveting for months (thanks to Deliciously Ella blog) in order to make smoothies to have along side the juicing I already do. I started getting weekly Abel & Cole deliveries. Initially I got the Green Juicing box and a medium Keen Cooks fruit & veg box. Since I’ve been poorly I cant guarantee when I will be able to leave the house or when I can drive so having the boxes delivered every Monday takes the pressure off and they are great quality  and value for money. But I now have changed to small Keen Cooks box as I couldn’t get through all the produce and am now trying the Smoothie and juicing box. I already have a monthly big delivery from Tesco on payday that includes the heavy stuff, washing powder, cat food, loo roll, tins of bean and pulses etc. Essentially all pantry, fridge and freezer goods.

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I put of weight with the help of the steroids – thanks for that, not. But instead of wearing my usual clothes that felt tight and uncomfortable I decided to give myself a break and bought some cheap and cheerful dresses at Boohoo a size larger than usual and they fit perfectly, I’m not going to beat myself up about gaining weight, I’ve been poorly and denying myself chocolate was not high on my list of priorites. My delightful beautician came over and de haired me, bikini line and all and the wonderful Miss Merx come over and gave me a blissful mani and pedi. These are not things that I do all the time, I do not have lots of spare money,  who does? but it was important to me so I treated myself. And I felt great for having done it. I’ve found a wonderful dog sitter who Livia will spend Mondays with and a holiday in Grenada coming up in June to look forward to so all in all this return to work lark hasn’t been too bad!

My first day back was Wednesday last week and it was daunting, like being the new girl again, but it was actually really lovely to be back. I really enjoy my job and the people and I work with and I’m lucky enough to work with one of my besties, Alex Reid, so going in rarely feels like a chore. I won’t lie, I’m still not tip top, I’m in pain on occasion, I’m tired and to top it all Lucia has been really since last week, again, and been off school. She threw up all over me as I was leaving for on Friday which meant another shower and 30 mins late but it goes with the parental territory doesn’t it.

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And just as if the universe needs to remind me that we really can’t control anything Lucia is still sick and now so is my mum, so I’ve had to stay home to look after Lu!

My week in pictures.

Monday

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I was gifted these amazing gluten free doughnuts by @borough22, who saw my tweets of distress at my parents the night before and told me to stop by on way home to pick up a little gift! They were fantastic, as always. Was really touched.

Tuesday

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Did a lot of lying down.

Wednesday

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Started on my Abel & Cole Juice and Smoothie Box, this was Persian Pear. Delicious.

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Then my fucking skull crushing headache returned.

Thursday

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Ordered these beauties when couldn’t sleep at my parents, late night online book shopping is my guilty pleasure.

 

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Also, felt it was time to get a grip so I painted my nails.

Friday

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Had bath, did hair, had early night with pup.

Saturday

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Lulu and I hung out together watching crap TV, it was heaven.

Sunday

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Lulu went to  party.