Just one step at a time

Life is complicated. The only way to get through it is one step at a time

105 days and counting

It’s 105 days until Tony and I get married. So much still to do! Though the wine arrived today. Naively I assumed the Tesco man would carry it upstairs, else I’d have chosen a day when Tony was home to help me lug it all up the stairs. Still, I have a wedding dress to fit, so… 😉

So, when I say home: we moved 3 weeks ago. A nice little 1-bed (though moving everything up all those stairs nearly killed us). The flat is 90% unpacked. Broadband arrived today – Virgin Media’s a tad slow in this area. iPlayer downloads take longer than the programme itself! Still a bookcase to assemble so I can unpack the last few boxes of books (so many books!). Then there are a few boxes of odds and ends I need to find homes for. Remembering that a boy also leaves in the flat too!

It’s a little strange still. I still have to pinch myself to remind me we’re actually living together now.

Still plenty of things to ensure the wedding goes to plan. Like, well, check the caterer we’ve found can do the date we want!  But it looks like we’ll be able to do it all for the budget we have – thank to the generosity of the families, as we have absolutely no money. And what little we had has gone on furniture and other housey stuff.


August 14, 2010 Posted by | First steps, home, London, love, marriage, wedding | 3 Comments

A wedding in the offing

On the evening of 1 April 2010 my wonderful boyfriend asked me to marry him.

After remembering that April Fools don’t count after midday, of course I said yes!

Oh my! I’m an engaged woman! Soon to be the wife of the most fantastic man in the whole wide world (yup, a little biased!)

April 3, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Money, money… Oh! No money

OK, this might seem a bit premature, but the fella & I are planning to get married. We’ve not had a ‘moment’ (as a friend called it) when he officially asks, but we’re certain. We’ll move in together July or August. The earliest we could get married is November.

Am a little disheartened. It’s all so expensive! What little savings I have will go on a flat deposit – my current place doesn’t have one. He’s paying off debts to the Bank of Mum & Dad (been there!). Dresses are extortionate! Thought I’d found the perfect one through eBay but it was too tight around the bust. At £150 it was budget-friendly. The cheapest I saw in a ‘real’ shop was £350. Really nice ones weren’t priced. If you have to ask you can’t afford it.

Really I’d like to have a big party. He likes the idea too. But so many expectations. Despite my Mum saying they’d have none, they do. Already I’m stressed about it & he’s not even asked yet!

Soon though :o)

March 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments


Well it’s been a while! A lot has gone on in the last 2 and half months. Most of which I appear to have been ill for!

I was diagnosed with mild asthma just after New Year. I spent New Year’s Eve on a nebuliser sat in a St John Ambulance treatment centre. Officially I was on duty. I got stood down about 2 hours in, but couldn’t get home for another 7! It was a long, cold night waiting around.

I now have a nasty dose of sinusitis and as such can’t sleep 😦 Still, I am eventually getting an ENT referral. Once I get through the Choose & Book system the NHS now have for specialist referrals.

My boyfriend is still around! 😀 It’s all going very well. We have now met each other’s parents. And we’ve started talking about the future. A future. Together. That makes me happy and smile, even though I can barely breathe at this moment in time!

Can I refer you back to this post:

First Aid ID

I got my ID badge for St John Ambulance today.

I go on my first official duty on Thursday – the Blur concert in Hyde Park.

I’m borrowing a uniform: hopefully I won’t have to do CPR as the shirt is a size too small. (Just think safety pins!)

It’s currently scorchio in London at the moment, so I’m envisaging: blisters, heat exhaustion, drunken faints and the like.

What I was not envisaging that night was meeting my boyfriend. He was my treatment centre manager for my first duty. I practically insulted him the first time we met! But I thought he was nice: kind and helpful when I was on my first duty.

The next duty I met him on I thought “oh!”

The next duty I thought “ooooooooooooooooooooooh!” And wondered if he was kinda flirting with me.

But ignored it. After all, in SJA terms he is my boss’s boss! Didn’t think he’d be interested in a lowly first aider like me.

Also, I didn’t talk about it for a while. I didn’t want to do my usual thing for getting all het up about someone and it going flat.

And yet… suddenly he started to appear on more duties I was on and would appear at my side and chat with me.

And then he and my unit leader asked me to help on the radios at a big fireworks duty. Which he was in charge of. So I took cake with me (I do aim to be a Domestic Goddess)!

And I caught him also looking at me that night. Obviously ‘cos I was looking at him! So 2 days later I ummed and ahhed and got all embarrassed, but got in touch. In the end I felt the fear and did it anyway. And he replied.

And we emailed for a while. Then I invited him to a concert a few weeks ahead (in the end I was too ill for us to go). And that night, at a football duty, I wrote my number on his hand as I left. He texted later. And then the next day. And the next day he asked me out for lunch on the Saturday. So we went. And I stood up the guy I was supposed to be on a first date with that night to have the longest first date ever with my boyfriend. Who bailed out of an SJA party. We went to the cinema. He left at midnight. We had met at midday.

And so here we are. Very happy. I’m very calm and chilled and relaxed about it, which is a first. Well, as much as I ever am about anything!

He also comes to church with me. His idea!

And I’m still coughing and full of cold 😦

February 8, 2010 Posted by | attraction, dating, First Aid, love, St John Ambulance | 2 Comments

I have a boyfriend

That is all.

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The prison of depression

“When we turn against ourselves and hate ourselves, we create the prison of depression. There is never any point in telling a depressed person who is in the depths of depression that they should not be so hard on themselves. In saying this, you reveal that you do not maintain the high standards that the depressed person does and in which the depressed person takes great pride.”
Article by Dorothy Rowe, Guardian 12 Nov 2009

There’s been articles in the news about depression and suicide. Understandable, after the suicide of Germany’s goalkeeper Robert Enke, who walked into the path of an oncoming high-speed train.

A tragedy. On top of previous tragedy. In 2006 his two-year-old daughter died.

Poignant: he was only a few months younger than me. Too young to die. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter he and his wife adopted earlier this year, and a promising career. Such a waste of life in so many ways.

He was depressed. He could not seek help. It is reported he feared that by revealing his illness – and seeking help – he would lose his daughter. A valid fear: there is still so much stigma surrounding mental health issues.

If only he had felt he could seek help. If only he had been able to reach out, that someone could have helped him. Depression is a nasty, black and bleak place, but there is usually a way out of it. I know: I’ve been there and am climbing out of it. I may never fully be out of it: once you’ve been there it’s probably easier to slip back in.

I understand how hard it is to ask for help: when things started spiralling I avoided the people who cared, who could have helped me through it. It took something drastic for me to realise I couldn’t deal with this on my own any more. That I was heading down a black hole and I had no way of stopping, turning and no tools to climb back up with.

How easy could it have been to do what Enke did? I don’t like to think about that: thankfully it never came to that. There but for the grace of God, and all that.

Depression is like a poison: it numbs you, it sucks you in, like that mud you can’t get out of (and I can’t remember the name of!). You need someone to pull you out: if you can’t ask for the help – or find the help – then you sink (sinking sand, that’s what I meant!) until…

I feel a great sympathy for the family of Robert Enke. I feel a great deal of empathy and sadness towards him. And a great sense of relief that I was able to seek the help I needed when I did.

Robert Enke: 1977-2009. I pray you are now, finally at peace.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | depression, Robert Enke, suicide | Leave a comment

I think I can

A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches.

One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill.

“I can’t; that is too much a pull for me,” said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused.

In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side.

“I think I can,” puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly.

However, it still kept saying, “I–think–I–can, I–think–I–can.” It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, “I thought I could, I thought I could.”

November 9, 2009 Posted by | positive thinking | Leave a comment

Remembrance Day Poem

Daddy’s Poem

Her hair was up in a pony tail,
Her favorite dress tied with a bow.
Today was Daddy’s Day at school,
And she couldn’t wait to go.
But her mommy tried to tell her,
That she probably should stay home.
Why the kids might not understand,
If she went to school alone.

But she was not afraid;
She knew just what to say.
What to tell her classmates
Of why he wasn’t there today.
But still her mother worried,
For her to face this day alone.
And that was why once again,
She tried to keep her daughter home.

But the little girl went to school
Eager to tell them all.
About a dad she never sees
A dad who never calls.
There were daddies along the wall ,
For everyone to meet.
Children squirming impatiently,
Anxious in their seats

One by one the teacher called
A student from the class.
To introduce their daddy,
As seconds slowly passed.
At last the teacher called her name,
Every child turned to stare.
Each of them was searching,
For a man who wasn’t there.

‘Where’s her daddy at?’
She heard a boy call out.
‘She probably doesn’t have one,’
Another student dared to shout.
And from somewhere near the back,
She heard a daddy say,
‘Looks like another deadbeat dad,
Too busy to waste his day.’

The words did not offend her,
As she smiled up at her Mom.
And looked back at her teacher,
Who told her to go on.
And with hands behind her back,
Slowly she began to speak.
And out from the mouth of a child,
Came words incredibly unique.

‘My Daddy couldn’t be here,
Because he lives so far away.
But I know he wishes he could be,
Since this is such a special day.
And though you cannot meet him,
I wanted you to know.
All about my daddy,
And how much he loves me so.

He loved to tell me stories
He taught me to ride my bike.
He surprised me with pink roses,
And taught me to fly a kite.
We used to share fudge sundaes,
And ice cream in a cone.
And though you cannot see him.
I’m not standing here alone.

My daddy’s all ways with me,
Even though we are apart
I know because he told me,
He’ll forever be in my heart’
With that, her little hand reached up,
And lay across her chest.
Feeling her own heartbeat,
Beneath her favorite dress.

And somewhere here in the crowd of dads,
Her mother stood in tears.
Proudly watching her little daughter,
Who was wise beyond her years.
For she stood up for the love
Of a man not in her life.
Doing what was best for her,
Doing what was right.

And when she dropped her hand back down,
Staring straight into the crowd.
She finished with a voice so soft,
But its message clear and loud.
‘I love my daddy very much,
he’s my shining star.
And if he could, he’d be here,
But heaven’s just too far.

You see he is a British soldier
And died just this past year
When a roadside bomb hit his convoy
Just what all soldiers fear.
But sometimes when I close my eyes,
it’s like he never went away.’
And then she closed her eyes,
And saw him there that day.

And to her mothers amazement,
She witnessed with surprise.
A room full of daddies and children,
All starting to close their eyes.
Who knows what they saw before them,
Who knows what they felt inside.
Perhaps for merely a second,
They saw him at her side.

‘I know you’re with me Daddy,’
To the silence she called out.
And what happened next made believers,
Of those once filled with doubt.
Not one in that room could explain it,
For each of their eyes had been closed.
But there on the desk beside her,
Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose.

And a child was blessed, if only for a moment,
By the love of her shining star.
And given the gift of believing,
That heaven is never too far.

Take the time…to live and love.
Until eternity.
God bless!

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Remembrance Day | Leave a comment

A perfectionist in Control

One of the things I discovered during my recent foray into therapy was a perfectionist streak I either didn’t realise I had, or have refused to acknowledge. And a tendency to take the blame for everything that goes wrong.

I’m having to learn that being ‘good enough’ is good enough! It’s OK to not be the best at something. With billions of people in this world, it’s unlikely I’ll ever be the best at any one thing!

I’m also learning that my value as a person is not based on being perfect/imperfect/adequate: I’m a human being, not a human doing. Some people actually like me because I’m me and not because of what I can do. And also: can’t be friends with everyone and that’s OK!

As well as that, I’m realising I need to give myself a break: learning new skills takes time and if I can’t get it right first time, that’s OK. In fact, that’s fairly normal!

I’m learning all this on the ground, with St John Ambulance. (Guess you guys didn’t realise you were part of my treatment!!!) For example: whene we practice slings I can never remember which way the triangular bandage goes! I have a mental block with that one, despite ‘point to the elbow’. “Which point?” I can usually be heard to moan at Division. But that’s OK.

It’s hard, giving myself a break; permission to be ‘OK’. There are still times when I’m reduced to tears, such as when I turned off the defibrillator rather than shocking during my revalidation (to reassure you all: I got another go at it and did it correctly the second time!)

Last night was the fireworks display at Alexandra Palace. I was in the Control unit. Was I looking forward to it? Heck no! I was terrified! And yet, I said yes to it. I did it. I knew I’d be in safe hands because of who I was working with and who was in charge. And I made it through in one piece! I live to see another day!

I can’t say that I enjoyed it. There was so much potential for it to go – publicly – very wrong! I was stressed for days beforehand. But I took home made cake, a tried and tested recipe. The thinking being that if I couldn’t do the radio stuff at least I could remind myself that I can make cake! And very nice cake at that!

I may not have enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t be totally against doing it again. After all, they do say practice makes perfect!!!

November 8, 2009 Posted by | perfectionism, St John Ambulance | Leave a comment

A short poem entitled Lunch Hour

Eating, talking,
knitting, walking,
back to my desk.

October 27, 2009 Posted by | poem | Leave a comment