Saturday, September 22, 2018

Just a quick blog to let you all know I am well. Three weeks at work and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. Great work crowd and many of them I know from previous incarnations and I am gradually settling in. Just the I.T. issues to sort out and access the important stuff to enable me to record the actual work. It is very relaxed compared to my previous job environment although it is extremely busy.

I have been gardening today as little time to get it tidied up until the weekend. Sherlock helping me out as I cleared the raised bed and prepared it for the next lot of planting, which I have yet to decide. I also cut back some other plants preparatory to the winter shut down. I also discovered this in the garden...

Possibly left by Sherlock who stayed out last night but our part-time visitor might be responsible...

Yes, he's in the house whilst my own cats are all outside in the garden!
As I said, a quick update only and I will return to regular posting soon.


Thursday, August 30, 2018

I ignored the email reminders for the Futurelearn 'Psychology & Mental Health' course I signed up for some weeks back but I completed two weeks worth in a marathon session today. Luckily, most of it already known to me but as familiarity may breed contempt, it is useful to brush up my knowledge and as stated, the certificate will go into my revalidation portfolio. Although I have to pay for the certificate to prove I completed the course, the actual course itself is free. But it is an easy and for the Nursing & Midwifery Council acceptable form of proof.

I have recommended Futurelearn to many people on various social media over the last few years, particularly as a taster of future studying. Someone on tw@tter spoke about empty nest syndrome when her children leave home for university in a three years time and possibly studying history. I suggested this plus a taster course via the Open University and that she does not have to wait for her kids to leave before trying this out. Sadly, costs for studying with the OU have also gone up although it remains cheaper and more accessible for many people. Yet in Europe, as well as the UK excluding England studying for a degree remains much cheaper. I shan't go into that here because I fear I will move into soapbox and ranting territory.

Other good news is that No.1 son was successful at his interview and assessment and he starts his new job next Monday! Mrs C will have the house to herself and she can put her feet up and relax with the two main nuisances out from under her feet.  So all in all a much happier household and from Monday a quieter one.


Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I have a start date for next Monday and it's two days of induction / I.T. training with the rest of the week at base and familiarisation with the team, area and systems. I have to admit I am excited about this and can't wait. Much as I enjoyed the time off a lot has happened this past year and I feel this will be a fresh start.  I returned to modelling today as I want to get this finished before next week and I guess I will have to leave things be on the model front for a few weeks.

As well as returning to work I have nurse revalidation next March so a Futurelearn course in psychology to add to my portfolio will help as well as gathering the various bits of evidence over the next few months from working should see me complete that. I think I will be busy for a few weeks and it will also be tiring for me returning to work and regular hours. More importantly, we won't have to work to a strict budget as finances were in short supply over the past few months. As well as saving for the mortgage there is a lot of work needed on the house including a new damp course. We can't redecorate until that is done so I plan to save up for that and get some quotes next year for the work to be done. Hugely disruptive but it is needed and once completed we can move on to the work we can do the house.

Otherwise it is pottering about although in the town market (sadly lots of empty stalls) we saw this...

It fills an empty stall and provides an interesting talking point as well people photographing the installation.

I quite liked it although it wasn't Mrs C's cup of tea.

As for Swan watch...a third cygnet has died and it may be down to Avian Botulism resulting from the recent hot weather and poisonous food from the river. Reports in the press mention outbreaks elsewhere. So four surviving cygnets and we will be feeding them more peas which is apparently preferable to bread.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Famous last words as I slept for only a few hours last night but I do feel refreshed having woken up at 7 a.m. I shall try to get into a regular sleep pattern with early nights and waking up early to prepare for my return to work. It is less than a 15 mile commute and against the flow of the rush hour so relatively easy to do and a commute I did for ten years. Some of my views as background to the area of work.

From experience I intend to carry my digital camera in the car for photo opportunities and I am keen to capture images of the changing seasons. One advantage of a lower banded job is that, although I will be kept busy, band 5 staff carry a less complex caseload although I suspect given my history and experience I may get more than the usual. But I don't mind as I am happy to be back in employment and the one lesson I have learned from the past year is humility. So I am grateful for this opportunity and I intend to stay put and ignore the shiny baubles and blandishments of any other jobs. But I may have opportunities to stop, enjoy the countryside and take some photographs.

The area covered is slightly larger compared with my previous employment in the area with the wolds, the coast and a few small towns with lots of villages. Approximately 700 square miles to cover but hopefully the caseload will be concentrated in just a few areas rather than all over. I might buy that small camper van early so as to stop off for a cuppa or somewhere comfy to do my paperwork on the go!

I have enduring memories of a road covered in rabbits one evening as I and a colleague worked late in the crisis team, another of deer watching us from behind a fence and one in particular of a barn owl flying into my car early one morning. Plus a possible glimpse of the elusive large black cat early one morning crossing the A16 as I wended my way home from a crisis assessment. At that early hour being on call and tired after a full day and then called out again I would put it down to my misidentifying a large black dog except for the obvious long cat like tail on a creature slightly larger than a Labrador! It may well have been a larger version of Louis, our extremely pampered beastie who sadly is no longer with us.

So all in all, a lot to look forward to and also working with former colleagues although many of them I knew as students and support workers a decade or so ago.

Now to grind and make my coffee for the second time using a smaller cafetière as this happened this morning.  I will have to find out if I can buy a replacement glass receptacle rather than having to buy the whole thing.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Woohoo! I got the job. 
Feedback from the interview was very good and that I had ticked every box for the job with my extended answer to the first question. I have to admit that I read up, researched and explored all there is to mental health recovery. My last failed interview fired me up and shook me out of the lethargy I had experienced over the last year. I enjoyed the interview and Mrs C said I looked like a man on a mission and that my confidence was back when I left to attend it. I have to admit I feel such an overwhelming sense of relief and I am one very happy puppy. Thank you Blue Witch and Scott for your support and kind words, you were both very helpful during a difficult time for me. I suspect I might finally get a good nights sleep tonight.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Here is the finished trawler, well...I decided to do no more to it despite a couple of more things I hoped to add but less may be more here.

I kept knocking off the flag staff so I have now put it up on display. As you may not be surprised to hear I have already started on the next build, one which I have been anticipating for a while. Below is the work I did yesterday and inevitably it is a tank. Luckily I have a small stash of kits to keep me going and I now take more time so as to enjoy the build and make it last.

The good news is that No.1 son has passed his interview for a delivery driving job. It is temporary but may become permanent after the new year. He has a driving assessment next week and all being well he can then start. He enjoys driving and he wants to become a HGV driver so this will be good practice for him on the smaller trucks. Perhaps I can read a positive omen into this?

I have also become enamoured of two sports on TV and over the past several weeks I have avidly watched them both; darts and baseball! The former I have watched on and off for years but with my current poor sleep I find it very relaxing and the late night baseball also caught my attention. I am gradually coming to grips with the rules although it is still bewildering at times. It certainly helps me drop off in my armchair, usually with Sherlock kipping on my chest. Now. if they showed late night test match cricket I would certainly sleep well. Although I played cricket when I was younger it never really excited me although I enjoyed bowling. Playing for the school in a match where I was a last minute replacement I was amazed to bowl three out for two runs in one over followed by another two wickets later in the match. I put that down to the coaching we had from an excellent teacher at my junior school who was cricket mad. It always makes me smile because a friend dragged me to a local cricket club in my late teens after he'd recounted this story to club members. Cajoled into having a try out and with club members watching I bowled out their best batsman with my first ball and then another one with a further one going for a catch. I found something I was good at but I had and still have no interest in! I preferred rugby and football and with the various aches and pains I have these days from rugby and cycling (crashes) perhaps I should have gone for cricket. Given the problems I have with my neck and shoulders I doubt I could bowl a balloon these days. 
 I must away as darts will soon be on and as I watch little TV I shall be monopolising it for a change this evening. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I didn't get the job and the feedback was interesting. I knew I hadn't performed well and the interviewer, whom I have known for many years stated "You were in the room but you weren't present. It's not like you". I explained recent events and that possibly accounted for my being distracted. Oddly enough, once I'd accepted the result and felt sorry for myself, I gave myself a 'shake' and I felt angry with myself. The interview shook me out of the torpor I've experienced for many months now and I feel more fired up for the next set of interviews. So a good result in an odd sort of way.

The other interesting feedback is that I have been out of MH for the last eight months and I have become rusty. So I have set myself 'homework' with some brief notes on a a number of scenarios from my working life appropriate with each upcoming interview as well as researching recent developments in MH and social care. Suitably shaken, prepared but not stirred! 

Regarding Fuchsias as mentioned in BW's blog...I'm annoyed to discover that my recent weed clearance accidentally removed our only Fuchsia. Mrs C pointed this out when I showed her the pictures and how I'd like to plant some. For the life of me I cannot recall a Fuchsia in the garden...