Today has been a really foggy, misty and rainy day along the Dorset coast. But as it was my day off I was determined to get out and about. I find it quite difficult to walk in thick fog. First of all i don’t like that I can’t see where I am going very clearly, secondly I have Asthma and the high water content in the air makes breathing just that little bit harder.

As I was walking along the seafront in the fog I thought about the fog in my head. Lately it feels my head is really clogged up and foggy. I don’t seem to be able to see my way clearly. All I do is walk ahead and hope not to fall, that’s metaphorically speaking. This fog in my head is making me feel very tired and at other times I get really frustrated. I am a person that likes to plan ahead, but that’s quite difficult if you can’t see more than one step at the time. Not being able to see clearly makes me panic slightly and that sometimes makes me short of breath. Having this fog in my head is also having a massive effect on my creative writing. Whilst I was ill, I had so many ideas and plans for projects. It got to the point where my husband thought he could bring out my competitive edge by challenging me to take part in the same flash fiction competition. He entered his already and I am just sitting there but have no idea what to write about. Maybe I should see this as some sort of ‘good fog’ that is teaching me to take one step at the time and not to make plans but take life as it comes. To try and see what’s infront of me at this moment in time and maybe even use that as inspiration. Maybe I should see it that way. I will try and give that a go and hopefully the fog will lift soon and return me to my normal state of being.

Health and safety rules v. Being human

I came across a situation yesterday where health and safety rules were taken too far and that person became in my eyes inhuman, as he was insisting on these stupid rules.

I know that coach drivers aren’t meant to lift anything or anybody anymore, due to health and safety rules. I used to be a coach driver myself, but I never forgot to be human as well. There was a lady in a wheelchair with MS. She was travelling with her husband and they were trying to get on a tour bus to London. They were traveling by cruise ship, and this was going to be there last holiday like that together as her illness was progressing fast and had already disabled her body quite severely. Anyway as I was seeing coaches off in the port, I realised the commotion at this particular coach. The driver was refusing to take this lady. The lady was feeling embarrassed and started crying. She wanted to be taken back onboard. I am not really allowed to lift anything due to my recent surgery, but as nobody else was going to help the couple I offered to assist. I was furious with the driver. I mean come on. This was her last holiday ever and he was ruining it. The other staff around me told me not too do it. They were saying: ‘You are not allowed to lift anything. Stop it.’ They were trying to explain to the driver that due to my operation I was really not allowed to lift anything, but he remained stubborn. In the end I could feel a sharp pain in my lower abdomen and another passenger had to step in for me to help get the lady into a seat. The driver then further made a fuss and said: ‘She can’t stay on the coach at lunch’. To wich I replied: I am sure she does not want to spend lunch wth you either! I mean really, why was he thinking about his lunch break already and why did he even think she wanted to stay on the coach for that?  This was a one off situation and if some more people would have helped, that lady could have sat in that coach much quicker. AS it was it took 20 minutes. If we were all a little bit more human and open our eyes to a situation that unfolds in front of us, the world would be a much better place.

I do realise that some health and safety rules are there to protect us, but sometimes we also have to be human and see the situation for what it is. Now I know that I was stupid to even attempt to try and lift her and I had to spend the morning in A&E waiting for an ultrasound as there is a risk that my bladder may have shifted downwards. It hasn’t!! Phew. I thought I would lead by example and show what being human could look like. Of course I can’t force anybody to go against those rules. 

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is a great book. Eleanor Oliphant has had quite a difficult past, but is now doing completely fine. The book builds up slowly to what happened to her when she was a child. I love the language the author uses for the voice of Eleanor. She speaks in a ‘proper’ way. There were many words I didn’t know and hod to look up in the dictionary, I liked that. 

Eleanor is a loner, and she prefers it that way. She has a set routine which gives her live stability. She wears the same clothes and hasn’t had her hair cut in years. But then she gets to know Raymond, a work colleague and when one night on the way to the bus stop they both see a man collapse in the street, whom they help and get him to hospital, they gradually form a close friendship. Eleanor is also pursuing a love interest and is beginning to change her appearance in order to finally meet this ‘dream man’ in person. But it all turns out completely differently in the end.

I recommend this book. It has made me laugh out loud at times, because of the way Eleanor sees this modern world. It made me think and it has some heartfelt moments too. I love the use of language and the choice of words. I like it when a book uses quality language, but that might be just me. I also like the way the characters are built up and develop throughout the story. I also like that despite the live Eleanor has had, she is doing fine. It gives hope that one can do it and that the past does not have to hold us back. But it also shows that this process is hard work. Eleanor eveantually has to see a counsellor who helps her come to terms with her past and look forward to a better future. The last chapter of the book is even called ‘Better Days’! 

Book review: The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

I have been reading three books at the same time and I finished this first. Wow what a page turner. Daniel Cavendish is a young man. he has got a trust fund of £5000 a month, so the cynically doe snot need to work, but still is a trainee doctor. He has the luck of being born into a wealthy family. When he gets pushed by his dad to by his own flat he meets Cherry, who works in the estate agent, and immediately falls in love with her. He introduces her to his mum and dad, and Laura, Daniel’s mum has her suspicions about Cherry right from the start. Laura’s marriage is not what it used to be and she works for ITV as a scriptwriter. 

There is a holiday in France in the families villa, near ST. Tropes, which widens the gap between Cherry and Laura as CHerry is playing evil games and gets found out by Laura. Then there is a nasty accident, where Daniel gets injured and Laura is playing nasty games with Cherry, but Laura gets found out and Cherry takes revenge.

This book is a real page turner. It has twists and turns right until the very last page. I really recommend this book. It’s not your usual crime thriller, but rather full of surprises and lies. Enjoy

Taking the plunge

Today I went swimming in a pool for the first time since last September. I always used to love swimming and I was always very good at it, if I may say so 😉 but due to the constant pain I wasn’t really able to swim, properly, by that I mean the way I am used to, so I didn’t go at all.

I had checked with my GP last week if it was ok to swim, as it was only two months after the surgery. In the past I always swam 40 lengths, because that’s 1km and I always did it in 30 minutes. I didn’t’ expect to do that today. So I swam 20 lengths in 20 minutes. And then the pain started to be really bad. I actually felt faint. It started at length 15, but I thought I could push myself to at least half of what I used to do. I didn’t feel exhausted or anything it was just the pain stopping me from moving my legs in the water. So I got out and had a long shower. I felt very disappointed. Then I thought at least I made a start and took the plunge. I need to give myself more credit and stop expecting so much of myself all the time. I have to learn to be my best friend and treat myself with more respect.

This is an issue I have been dealing with pretty much all my life. I guess it has to do with learned behaviour. I had some Reiki whilst I was in Germany and my friend who did the Reiki on me could sense that I was feeling very uncomfortable and disconnected from my own body. This is true I would go as far as to say I feel extremely uncomfortable in my own skin. This has not only got to do with being overweight, because I know thin people that are uncomfortable in their own skin. She suggested to do activities were I can relax and enjoy the feeling of being in my ‘skin’. Today I had a massage and a swim. I am planning to go swimming once a week to start with and slowly built up to what I used to do. It was a huge effort for me to actually go out and put on my cosy, but I guess it was worth it. I took the plunge 😉

Just ask

I am very bad at asking for things especially when it comes to work stuff. I feel everybody is so busy and I don’t want to bother them. Today I was actually rewarded for just asking. I had nothing to lose so I just did and was rewarded with a positive answer. I can’t go into more details on here. If you ever feel to shy to ask for something, you have to ask yourself the question: What have I got to lose? If the answer is ‘nothing’ then just ask. This can be applied to a lot more things. If you fancy somebody and are too shy to ask them out, ask yourself what you have to lose. Or make a list. Often the solution can be very simple: Just ask! X

Where has my motivation gone?

I got back from Germany on Wednesday very late and have been sitting around in a stupor since. I was booked on the national express from Heathrow to Poole, but due to the massive cues at passport control I missed it and had to wait to 20:30 at terminal 5. But to be honest I just sat there. I didn’t notice the time going by or people talking. I just sat there staring into space. Although I felt exhausted i couldn’t even doze. My mind was racing. Even when I got on the bus and the 2.5 hrs to Poole, I cold not sleep. I am exhausted but restless. Have you ever been in a state like that? When I finally got home about midnight I went straight to bed and slept for 10 hours. Thursday I didn’t do much. Just washing, unpacking and so on. I was meant to write a piece for writing club about the topic of ‘ships’, but my head was empty of ideas and yet full of other stuff.

Today was writing club. It started at 10:00. I got up at 7:30, but really thought of going back to bed and sending an email with my apologies. I hadn’t written anything and the thought of leaving the house made me recoil. I finally stepped into the shower and drove into town. I listened to the stories about ships the others had written and to be honest I am glad I went. The motivation and creativity of the others helped me to gain a little bit of focus again. The have the advantage of either being retired and able to write whenever they want, or they are working writers. When I looked around I almost felt like I don’t belong there. For some reason I have lost all motivation to carry on writing my crime novel or any story for that matter.

I have to go back to work this weekend after two months sick leave and I am very nervous and sad. I should be glad to have a job that pays the bills, but the lack of ‘get up and go’ is like a magnet pulling me down. I feel so tired all the time. I am trying to see the positives. A friend of mine always says that when you have traveled a fair distance your soul takes some time to catch up with you. Maybe my soul has not yet arrived here and it will bring with it my motivation.