Tuesday, 31 August 2010

35. Eden

Summer at the Eden Project

It was our anniversary yesterday. A whole year, can you believe?

The cliche thing to say would be "I don't know where the time has gone". But it is the truth. It feels like longer than that...and shorter all at the same time.

Luckily, our anniversary fell on a Bank Holiday. So we decided to go on a day trip to Eden, followed by relaxation (reading/sleeping in the sun etc) in the grounds at Lanhydrock house. It was a beautiful day. The perfect day.

The Eden Project has a new viewing platform that is suspended from the roof, 165 foot up from the ground with a view across the whole rainforest biome. We saw it and knew we just had to go up there. Ignoring my fear of heights and the fact that the steps up to the platform are also suspended by cables so that they move and swing as you walk on it, we filled in the health questionnaires (seriously...it gets very hot and humid up there - 40 degrees and 55% humidity yesterday, it was extremely hot) and paid to go up.

I am so glad that I went up. There is nothing more liberating than realising that something you've been scared of for most of your life, and you've avoided, really isn't all that scary after all (it's only a state of mind). And wow, what a fantastic view. Definitely a recommendation.

As for us...we're looking forward to the new year ahead, happy that we've passed a whole year in each other's company, where we've had so much fun and good times. And we're keeping an open mind for new adventures and experiences. All in all, more to look forward to. :-)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

34. Whiplash

There's nothing more sickening than the sensation of falling full force onto the corner of a step with your neck. That's what happened to me the other day.

For a long time, I lay at the bottom of the stairs and waited for the pain to die away before I dared to move an inch. Initial checks were okay - I was concerned that my shoulder was dislocated but, on a brief feel, everything seemed to be in place. No breaks, just carpet burn on my arms and a strange sensation in my head. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was okay.

It was only an hour later when my neck started to ache. It's only with hindsight that I realise that I should have gone to the hospital then. A night and a day later, the pain was excruciating and I had an awful headache. I can always tell if I'm "ill", it's when I don't even consider refusing to be taken to hospital.

So I have whiplash. Made more complicated because I can't take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories. But I think I'm really really lucky...I could have broken my neck. It's things like this that remind me how delicate my body actually is, and that I should actually take care of it.

Here is a photograph of me that I took the other day (before the accident).Life is treating me well at the moment, and I'm enjoying my time away from things. :-)


Wednesday, 25 August 2010

33. They're like buses.

Sometimes waiting to hear back from jobs is like waiting for a bus!
Today, I had another interview confirmation but for the exact same
time as the last. It's all rearranged now but I for a moment there, I
couldn't believe it. It's very exciting to be in this position!
Anyway. Yesterday I fell down the stairs and hit my head. It didn't
seem to knock any sense into me...knocked it out, more like. My neck
has been sore ever since. :-(
And we have an internet fault at home, so i'm going stir crazy without
it. I'm sending this to you via email on my mobile...a test, if you
please, to see if I can get it working :-)

Monday, 23 August 2010


Another Monday and it still feels odd not to be getting up and ready for work, to join in on the morning commute and the daily slog in the office. Instead, I woke up without an alarm, I lounged around having a lovely breakfast with Kirsty, did a little bit of housework before considering doing some kind of "work". I have to be careful that I don't get too used to this.

I do try to treat my day like a working day. I set various projects to do, applications to write out, writing practises etc and try not to have a break until the proper times, but being at home is so subject to distractions (luckily no television) that it's a challenge to stick to my to do list. I now admire people who can work from home and meet deadlines, it's much easier said than done.

There's actually a really good thing about all this time off: it's an enforced rest that is proving to be therapeutic (provided I don't stress too much whilst looking for a job). I have time to review my actions, work on my inner self, and discover things about myself that I probably wouldn't have been watching out for if I'd been working.

Over all, I find it really easy to enjoy life at home but I can foresee a time when things are going to get difficult. Not least: boredom. My NVQ should be finished within a fortnight, so after that it's going to be just completing job applications and writing. So I'm really hoping that I get a job before then...well, there's always hope. :-)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

31. Progress

The letter came in the post yesterday; we opened the door and saw it lying on the floor, face down. It was a crisp white envelope, that certain type used by professional companies. I knew it would be for me.

My hands trembled, just for a moment, as I picked it up and turned it over. The logo, printed with a franking machine, gave the game away. I put my bags down and took a deep breath while I carefully opened it to get to the letter inside. The first words leapt out "invited for interview". I couldn't take in the rest for a little while.

I have a job interview! Two days after sending in the application. It is a morale booster, and it's exciting. It's for a hugely important company in the county and I'm just gobsmacked.

It doesn't matter so much whether I get the job (well...it would be rather nice, and I would actually like it) but it's the fact that someone looked at my CV and said that they think I'd be capable. Working for a company for years where my morale took a huge hit, this is like a giant leap forward.

I have to admit, I feel tired today. It's like trying to walk upstream of a fast flowing river sometimes. I might only have a mile to go, but oh that current can drag, and then there are the hidden objects that come sailing down in the flow of water and you can't always avoid them. But it's good to look back at times, because then you realise how far you've already gone. Today, though, I wouldn't mind a little island to rest on, maybe have a picnic or even just a bar of chocolate, before continuing on the hard slog upwards.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

30. I'm writing again

I don't know entirely where it has come from. It's like a spring that has found a hairline fracture; water drips out slowly at first but, with each passing drop, the fracture gets larger and more pours out. Only I don't have water pouring out of my mind (or, at least, I certainly hope not!), it's creativity. I haven't written this much in years.

Writing has always come in fits and starts for me but I always remember wanting to write. My earliest memories are of me writing in a corner in the playground. And, even during my "dry spells", I've had a longing to buy stationery...the perfect notebook, or a special pen;  an uncontrollable urge that has seen me stock up on paper that I won't use.

The writing is freely flowing now. I'm a bit out of practise - not having read many books for a long time, my vocabulary isn't quite on the ball. It's like a gate that has rusty hinges: they need to be greased before they'll work properly and stop squeaking. But I have a copy of "The Creative Writing Coursebook" to ease my way back in.

If I was in the financial position, I would want to restart my novel ("The Novel") and finish it this time, and not have to work for another person ever again. But technically I'm skint, and I don't enjoy the feeling of insecurity that is my current jobless state. It would have been more than ideal to have won the lottery last night, if you know what I mean. But I'm a huge believer that things happen the way they do for a reason. it's not my privilege to know what that is.

They often say (who "they" are, I don't know. It's like a collective word for random people...my grandmother used to say "they do say", a devonshire phrase) that writing is a therapy in itself. You can go deeper and deeper into your own psyche and discover more about yourself than you ever thought possible. I guess I never got that deep before, but something is changing.

Apparently, I'm going through a new phase. The astrologers call it The Saturn Return. A time when you decide what it is you want in life, and a time of huge upheaval and change. You can come out the other side and even you have changed.

I don't know if this new phase of writing will stay with me. I can always hope...and I can always keep plodding on. I read somewhere that if you try at something and fail then at least you've tried, but if you don't even make an attempt at it then that's the worst failure there is. So today, I'm happy and at peace because I am trying.

Friday, 13 August 2010


It's been a whole week now since I quit my job. I had thought that being off work would be dull and I'd have nothing to do but, on the contrary, I've had the busiest week of my life, it seems.

I've been madly applying for new jobs while relaxing in coffee shops, having a reflexology session (oh my god...if you haven't tried this, I would really recommend giving it a go), having an Indian Head Massage, working on completing my NVQ (again, in coffee shops), meeting new people, meeting up with friends. Today is the first day I've been able to just lie in bed for as long as I want without panicking too much about my next outing.

To be fair, it hasn't all been relaxing and it certainly hasn't been plain sailing. It's been, in fact, a very stressful week. I quit the job I had at my parents' business (so I'm not in their good books at the moment) and filling out all of those application forms is a nightmare. This is why Kirsty was so wonderful to book me in to the spa treatments. It was a few hours of pure relaxation amongst a week of turmoil.

It might sound bad but I feel that things are finally starting to work out for me (no...no jobs yet, nor even an interview) but I finally have the space I need to be able to work out what it is that I want to do with my life. There are no more rules or obligations. I am free to choose. So if I don't concentrate too much on the what-ifs or maybes, this is actually probably one of the most liberating experiences I can have. :-)

Thursday, 5 August 2010


I've given up my job and I'm scared. No, scrap that, I'm terrified.

It brings back the nightmare of post-graduation when I couldn't get anyone to employ me because I was "over qualified" and inexperienced. Not even the local supermarket, it seemed, wanted me back then. Mind you, times have changed and a degree is not worth nearly as much as it used to be, and I have nearly 9 years of experience behind me. But, still, the fear is there.

I'm beginning to wonder whether this was either a very brave or a very stupid decision. Only time can tell which one.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

27. Getting away from it all

Sharp Tor

I'm a couple of days away from quitting my job...I woke up on Monday and decided I just didn't want to go in. There were other reasons too but I couldn't stand it anymore.

Instead, I drove to Bodmin moor and walked up to the Cheesewring. From the top, I took out my OS map, looked at the scenery and decided to walk to a point I'd never been to before.

I walked as fast as I could, pushing myself. And, getting to the top of Sharp Tor felt like an achievement, of sorts. I wasn't running from my problems, I was working out what to do about them. A personal journey.

I love the moors. Their ruggedness and beauty never change. 

As with my job...the hours are ticking by and my decision is made. The problem is, what next?