Tuesday, June 21, 2011

After thirteen weeks at the local fat fighters club I have now lost 2 stones & 8  1/2 pounds  (36 & 1/2 lbs). My clothes are hanging off me and Mrs.C is prompting me to buy some new clothes. I'm holding off on that because I still have more weight to lose and I would rather wait until it is worth my while investing in a new wardrobe. The question is "Do I feel better?" and the answer is "Hell yeah!". I have more energy, the dog is benefiting from the extra walks and I am using the exercise bike more. I have met my first target and I have now set my next one. This also accounts for less time spent at the PC as I change some of my habits and move around more. I am making the most of the overcast summer we have so far experienced. It is odd being the only bloke amongst all the women at the club although there are a few other blokes who occasionally pop in. But most of the people there are supportive and friendly and I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far. Here's to the next thirteen weeks and more weight loss.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's all change at work as we prepare to move offices and we will be crammed into our 'new' building alongside one of the other local teams. This will happen in two weeks time whilst we continue to work around the disruption. As a team we are generally happy about the move and accept that next year our roles will change. From just being crisis workers we will probably take on individual longer term caseloads as we become generic community psychiatric nurses again plus the crisis work. It has come full circle for me in that I will be doing the work I did ten years ago.
 I feel sorry for our colleagues in the team we are joining because they will have to join us in working the long shifts, weekends and on calls overnight. We point out the benefits for the clients, days off during the week for ourselves, a shorter working week because we work 10 - 12 hour days instead of the usual 7.5 hours plus the rewards in our pay packets. We also point out that we thrive on the challenges and enjoy the work. They see... "working weekends and called out at night!!" which they are not happy with and regard us with a mixture of incomprehensibility and disdain. They are also aware that one nurse on call at night has responsibility for the 600 square mile area we cover and are horrified by it. One of our senior managers recently had to cover for a shift and some on calls. They admitted they hadn't realised how pressurised and stressful the job was and will be suggesting that senior managers countywide work some shifts to understand what our jobs really entail. I shan't hold my breath waiting for that.
 At some point during the next several months we will be moved again to another set of offices because the first move is only a temporary move. The prefab building isn't apparently "fit for purpose" and it will be extremely cramped once we move in. This is in part down to funding issues and, as well as fewer staff in each team, contracts for a variety of things are being renegotiated or not renewed. It's one thing to see cuts and changes in the NHS in the media but this is what happens at ground level. We know the topography of local health and social services will be very different in four years time. For those who wonder about privatisation creeping in, yes it will happen. I wouldn't put your faith in Labour either to stop it because when they were in power they sowed the seeds for it although the monetary fertiliser was wasted on the weeds of excessive layers of administration and unnecessary bureaucracy to underpin ideological targets. Anyway, I regard Ed Balls in the same way I regard the slugs in my garden... slimey, after something I have and not welcome. However, slugs have a purpose in life and are generally more trustworthy compared with most politicians.
However, this weekend is a welcome break after seven frantic days in both jobs. When I wasn't working I was sleeping sums up the past week and this coming Monday looks like a continuation of the same. I will be very pleased when I return full time to the crisis work and no longer have to drive 200 mile days.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A busy morning spent in the garden: cutting the grass, transplanting the multitude of tomato plants into new pots and weeding. The cucumber, chilli and tomato plants are all looking very healthy although the younger plants I am keeping in the shade for now. The sun is blazing down as I type and imbibe of some much needed lime cordial. I also had to nip out to buy some new pots and compost. A helluva lot more tomato plants than I at first realised. The fun will now begin as I battle the slugs and snails who will be heading for the new 'restaurants' placed out for them. The corn salad I planted out has also really taken off and ready for harvesting. Given the news about the e coli outbreak which is being attributed to Spanish grown organic salad vegetables and cucumbers in particular, I'm quite glad to be growing my own. Mind you, I bought some Yorkshire grown cucumbers last week and they were delicious. I also have a small tub of wild flower seeds and I have prepared a large tub ready to scatter them in. That's my concession to Mrs C. to contain any wild flowers this year or "weeds" as she calls them. I bought  couple of new chairs for the garden and next on my list is some sort of barbecue, although I shall stick to the disposable ones. I am optimistic that we will have a sunny summer and hopefully during my days off. We'll see...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

First rule of blogging: Don't blog drunk. But it's a day off and I actually had a few pints in my local. It's only the second time I have drunk in there over the past year. A couple of 'so-so' beers and the toilets are a smelly bleach free zone. It may well be some time before I choose to go in there again. The barman has not improved as far as social skills and cleanliness are concerned. I can buy better and cheaper beer elsewhere with a friendly welcome so I will definitely opt to do that.
 No excuses for the recent lack of blogging... the muse had left me and looking at recent posts I would say it had left some time ago. Problems at work and home with the result that I have little I can say until a few things have changed as well as bad case of writers block. Hopefully some of the changes I have initiated will pay off over the next few months and a return to creative thinking will have the desired effect.  Until then it may well be quiet on this here blog.