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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Bloody snow !

I am beginning to get really fed up now with all this snow, it seems that as soon as it goes the white stuff comes right back again. The village where I live, being higher up than the surrounding land, always gets the worst of the weather, which people from surrounding towns rejoice in, as they come here to sledge and in the most extreme weather which we have had these past two weeks, to ski. Yes you did read that right, snow skiing in south-eastern England.

For two weeks now I have been trying to get into Guildford (or any branch of Lush) to buy various items which I am beginning to get perilously low on. Lush always have a sale at this time of year, where you get items produced last year free of charge if you spend more than a certain amount of money, or once they have run out of these, other items free. This is a good offer which enables me to stock up for several months, and if I can't manage to get there before Sunday when the offer ends I will be seriously peed off. Not only have I lost money through being ill and of work (and today I have woken up with a throat infection so may soon be off work again), I can't get to take advantage of the sales either. It's not fair that once again those who had 2 weeks off over Christmas get to do all the things that I can't, when my job is so much more worthwhile than theirs. It seems that those who make the greatest contribution to society get the rawest deal. This is probably just me whinging though and going back into victim mode. We all need to do that once in a while ...

I have tried to see the positive in this snow, the idea that it brings families and communities together through being forced to help each other, but I have not seen that. One lady I know fell over outside the village shop (I did not see it) and told me that three cars went past before anyone stopped to help. Community spirit, what community spirit ?

I am probably just feeling fed up because I still feel unwell, and will no doubt get over it in due course. In the scheme of things I am really quite lucky, in that I have a cupboard fell stocked with food, hot water, heat and the company of the man I love. The fact that I am going stir crazy not being able to get out of the house and worried about how the hell I am going to work tomorrow night driving on a 3 inch layer of snow, with more expected tonight, is neither here not there. I will cross that bridge when I get to it - and pack an overnight bag in case !

Monday, 11 January 2010

A blessed relief - in more ways than one ...

It was back to work for me then yesterday, much against my better judgement. It is never easy going back after a few days off, but this time seemed even more difficult than usual. While I was off I seemed to observe this little monkey on my shoulder, whittling away with all the negative thoughts about my life, and about my job. How it was menial and unfulfilling (not true at all), how I needed more hours and money (this bit is true), and how I am not appreciated by my colleagues (definitely not true). I don't know what it was, or where it came from, but the longer I stayed at home, it felt almost like I was sliding into a form of depression. I am glad then that I did go back to work, as getting out of the house and doing something active rather than just sitting around, made me feel a hell of a lot better.

The first hour was really hard, as I felt so tired, but as I began to work, the cloud and the tiredness seemed to lift, until by the end of my shift, I was almost back to normal (apart from the gnawing pain in my stomach due to hunger). My appetite is still not quite back to normal, but this is no bad thing, since I eat far too much anyway. In fact this bug has shown me just how much I do eat, and that I can in fact survive on much less than I think - I may have a manual job, but it doesn't burn that many calories ! From now on then, having also got rid of all that post Christmas bloat, I will making much more of an effort to watch what I eat.

While I was away, another death occured - this time for a lady who lived upstairs and rarely left her room. She was the longest standing resident after Louie, who died just before Christmas, and had a very advanced form of dementia. On the few occassions that she did leave her room, I can only describe the look on this woman's face as fear. Her death is then in many ways a blessed relief, as of course it usually is, for those who actually go anyway ...

Friday, 8 January 2010

Be careful of what you wish for ...

The New Year for me at least has got off to a flying start, as for the last three days I have been laid low with a particularly virulent strain of what I strongly suspect to be Norovirus. It has been doing the rounds at work since about three days after Christmas, gradually working its way around the staff and residents alike, and the symptoms have not been nice. In my case, watery diarrhoea, stomach cramps, nausea and a distinct loss of appetite. What with that and the seven inches of snow that fell on Tuesday night, things could not be much worse.

This is a lesson for me in many ways to be very careful of what I wish for, since all over Christmas I kept saying that I needed a rest and to have more than one day off work, resentful of those that got two weeks while I had to work on Christmas Day. Then what happens, bam, I am unable to work at all, for four whole days it will be by the time I go back on Sunday. You have to wait you see until you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. I have to be particularly careful in my job, working with the elderly and handling food.

If I feel like this, I can just imagine though how someone twice my age, who is not as fit as I am, must feel. The virus has left me quite literally on the floor, with very little energy to do anything at all. The aches and pains may have gone, but it will be a while before my body completely recovers. Worst of all has been the loss of appetite, where I just don't feel able to eat at all. For the last three days just about all I have eaten is some yogurt and a few fish cakes. I suppose it's one way to lose weight, but I rather do it through proper diet and exercise.

After three days of being cooped up in the house, I am then feeling decidedly claustrophobic. There is though nothing I can do, and I just have to let this thing run its course. In future I will be more careful though of what I wish for, as I might just get it !

Friday, 1 January 2010

The End of the Noughties

Last night saw not only the end of the year, but also the decade; it marked the end of an era which will go down in history as the noughties. This is an interesting analogy for me, for in many ways, spiritually at least, it marked the beginnings of a new stream of thought - the beginnings of a move away from the old me, me, me attitude that marked the eighties and the nineties towards the acknowledgment that we must now work together as never before and are a part of one integrated whole. The teens then will see this new way of life and new way of thinking begin to integrate more fully and mature, in the way that teenagers do. I expect there will be some tantrums along the way, as the world goes through its own form of puberty, but the world will emerge as a much better place, where feeling supersedes thought, and where being takes the place of doing. It is after all, all a matter of intent.

The noughties though were a decade of contrasts - they saw the completion of the Human Genome project, the discovery of water on the Mars, and the real possibility of extra terrestrial life, and also the sequencing of the Neanderthal Genome, which seemingly proved that modern Humans and Neanderthals were and are not related in any form. It was the decade of Harry Potter and the Twilight Saga, which saw an enormous interest in Wicca and the occult, but also the decade of The God Delusion, which saw much debate about the role that religion plays in our society, where for the first time in America it became safe and almost accepted to "come out" as an atheist. It was also decade that marked a rise in fundamentalism, with the destruction of the twin towers (the one news story that for me at least, will always go down in history), the Afghan war, and the London, Bali and Madrid bombings. The London bombing came I seem to recall in the same week that we won the bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It was the decade of the tsunami and the great outpouring of grief that followed, the decade of capitalism, of the growth of China and the integration of Eastern Europe. It was also the decade that saw the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and the election of the first mixed race US President, and closer to home, the expenses scandal. It was an incredible ten years.

From my own point of view, it has been one hell of a ride. It has been a decade of pain but also incredible joy, of exhilarating highs and crashing lows. The decade started with the death of my mother, which for me changed everything. The money that she left enabled me to give up work and write my book. It was for me, the decade of crystal therapy, of writing and learning and growth. It was also the decade when I discovered than none of this actually matters. It was for me, the decade of finding out who I was. I wrote last night that 2009 was the year when I finally discovered my path and realised that it does not matter what you do for a living, or how others perceive you, all that matters is that you are happy and content and strive to be the best that you can. We are not here to learn or to do anything, but simply to be - to be the best that we can in all things while showing compassion for our fellow man. Charity begins at home, and home is the planet on which we live with its wealth of humanity and other forms of life. Nothing else matters and nothing else is.

On that note, happy New Year to all !