Saturday, March 31, 2012

What can I say? I like chocolate although my preference is for dark chocolate and I like marmite. But even I was surprised to see the above for sale and I just had to buy a bar. I undid the foil wrapper (polite version of "I tore the wrapper open with my teeth") and the scent of marmite assailed my nostrils. Absolutely delightful and hopefully a harbinger of the taste. I ate two small squares and I was somewhat nonplussed... milk chocolate with a hint of marmite. I offered some to Mrs C. but she regards marmite as the devils excreta and refused the offering. It is no loitering with intent in the freezer as I now eat only the odd square of chocolate every now and then.

I am now 2700 words into my essay and I have been revising mental health law over the past two days. The essay I now realise will more than fulfill the 4k word limit and I will be wielding the pruning shears once completed, especially since my analysis needs to sharpen up to meet expected standards. I shall be a happier bunny when I submit it for the deadline in just over two weeks time. An unexpected sideline from all of this studying is that I can apply much of it to my teaching others on the wards and in care homes. I have already set aside some articles for students in the crisis team as well as rewriting my care home presentation and it has given me some ammunition for future discussions with management.
Notwithstanding all of that, I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off in the summer with plans to do very little beyond visiting the land of the East Saxons to see family, potter around the garden and a couple of day trips out... barring further fuel crises! I am still astonished at the ineptitude of the government (good way to mask bad news?.. economy), at the panicked reaction of many of the public and stupidity of so many people. The apparently famous British sang froid and stiff upper lip no longer exists. I was asked by a friend what I would do if I couldn't get any petrol for next weeks exams? Travel by bus was my answer and if that was not possible, hitch hike and stay at the college or work overnight. Once the exams are done I might then encounter a long walk home but my priority would be to attend and complete the exams. It is not the end of the world although it may be another sign post on the road to the collapse of the western world as we know it. What with fuel fools, warmish pasties at dawn, Bradford electing a clown as MP and Cameron's come dine with me for a price that's right it's been an odd week here in the increasingly disunited kingdom. Next week I will be immersed in exam anxieties, revision and stress but after six weeks there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just one extra thought comes to mind... one of my fellow students is nearing term for her pregnancy and an exam may become just that little bit more exciting for all of us participants. So next week and this course could finish on a suitably surreal note as one Yorkshire lass gives birth to a Lincolnshire yellowbelly!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tagged by the delightful Suzie so here goes...

1.What was the last thing you laughed about?
I really did laugh out loud this morning as I listened to the Chris Evans radio show on my way to college. It was some thowaway comment but it really hit the spot.

2. Sweet or savoury?  Savoury... curries, crisps, marmite etc...

3. What annoys you most?  Unfairness. People mistreating others deliberately or without any consideration for them.

4. Only one book for the rest of my life?   The collected Shelock Holmes stories. A dependable constant during the vicissitudes of life.

5. What's the best birthday present I ever received? Tickets to music gigs.

6. Hard copy or e book? Having bought a kindle I am very much hooked on it's accessibility, ease of use and amazed that so much could come in such a small package. I do love real books though so I am opting for the e book but it cannot beat browsing real books in a proper bookshop... with real coffee available.

7. What am I most proud of? My son. I love him to bits.

8. If I thought I was human but I was really a robot / android, would I want to be told? No. Have you seen Blade Runner....?

9. What's the happiest memory of my childhood? Long hot summers spent in Ireland with the extended family, all farmers.

10. If I could have any job in the world, what would I do? Historical research.

11. Where do I see myself in eleven years time?
Retired, walking, keeping cats and dogs, brewing beer, growing veg and working as an amateur historical researcher!

Cheers Suzie!  took time out from my busy study schedule although the next week sees us all stuck into the mental health law exams plus the final week of studies prior to our placements ( as well as the essay to finish).

I saw Nazareth on Sunday nght and I enjoyed a thoroughly great gig. A small venue run by the local bikers and a band I have long wanted to see.The support band were incredibly good and I will keep an eye out for them again.


Friday, March 23, 2012

"You're at home... walk... walk... walk... pleeaaase!"

Rather too much cider consumed last night and I woke early feeling rougher than a sandpaper salesman. It took several mugs of strong tea and a bacon sandwich before I fired up the synapses and set to work. Five hours later after lots of reading and I had achieved a heady 1300 words towards my 4000 word target. There are books, journal articles and paper everywhere plus a cat sleeping on one pile of paper. This is the hardest course I have ever tackled and although I am enjoying it I will be very glad to finish it. I did take time out to potter round the garden, throw the ball for the dog and to enjoy some sunshine! The latter was very welcome.

As an aside I noticed in sainsbury's a magazine  'How to get the best from your kindle' on sale for a tenner. I flicked through it with one thought uppermost in my mind... "You'd be crazy to waste a tenner". Just play with your kindle, look it up online, talk to other kindle users. I bet that magazine sells... a fool and his money... astonishing. I may be able to get back to my kindle once the course is done and return to reading rubbish novels requiring little thought. I can't wait. Mrs C. asked me recently whether I missed browsing around bookshops and I have to admit I do miss it. I can of course continue to browse and any books that catch my eye I can order on the kindle. The books I bought for the course are real as opposed to electronic ones because very few educational books are in e format. I still shake my head in wonder though because listening to spotify on an ipad touch, reading a kindle whilst googling stuff or looking at twitter at the same time really does feel like science fiction.  Time for tea and a dvd that demands little more than that I watch it. More studying tomorrow and Sunday as I attempt to add a few more words to this essay.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I will be surprised if anyone still reads this but here goes...

Four weeks in and the course has been and continues to be intense. I guess necessarily so with the need to meet very high standards, to cope with various pressures and to attain a hell of a lot of knowledge within a short space of time. Having said that, I am enjoying the studying and the challenges I face and the essay plus two law exams will undoubtedly tax me. A great crowd of fellow students and as well as the studying we do have a laugh, a bit of a craic. In three weeks time I will be on placement with a portfolio to complete, competencies to meet and I have  mixed feelings because I have been given two names as to who may be my supervisor. Fingers crossed as to which one I get... I'll blog about that at a future date.
Despite being immersed in values, models, mental health law, etc... I stick my head up occasionally for the news. Sweet heavens above... what a world and what shit happens. Time for a revolution and changes in our world. Too much to rail at and I promised myself a few months back to avoid getting impotently excited about thieving corrupt politicians, useless chav scum, morons and idiots. Sweeping the jails clean and deport/hang/high secure jail in the Falkland Islands for criminals and reparative community work plus removal of all wealth for lying thieving politicians/leaders would be a corrective. No more foreign wars; leave the eu; money into communities and providing work for the unemployed, improved and cheap public transport, etc... That'll do for starters although having read this through it does make me sound like a fascist. As I always maintain. I am socially liberal but economically conservative and the last 15 years prove that more of the latter is required. What will trigger people to awake from their slumbers?..  although I should be careful what I wish for (Robespierre, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot... not the most successful 'Come dine with me').
Time for cider and some music and NO studying this evening.


Friday, March 02, 2012

First week of the course completed and my first assignment handed in. I composed a post yesterday after spending a day with one of the most inspirational people I have ever met and I have met a fair few people from all walks of life. She was truly astonishing and one of those women whom you just think "Amazing". I am not given to attaching superlatives to people but this woman just blew us all away. However, her description of her life including systematic abuse left me and, as I discovered today, my colleagues, emotionally stunned. She hears voices and is a leading member of the Hearing Voices Network and is a successful, passionate and staunch advocate for change in mental health services. She received a spontaneous round of sustained applause from a room full of experienced and cynical social workers and nurses.

Much of our work over these next several weeks is to explore the role of the AMHP within the context of current and historical psychiatry. This means looking at & developing awareness of other interpretations of mental health especially colaborating with clients. Given my dissatisfaction with psychiatry over the past several years and how medication / services  has failed so many people this course is the icing on a cake baked over many years.  I have been aware of alternative approaches for many years and I and some othe colleagues try to use these whilst limiting the damage caused by the system. It is easy to feel a failure and consider giving up but that little flame inside plus inspirational people like this woman rekindle that fire in the belly, enough to carry on. Much food for thought and a reminder a why I came into mental health nursing. I just have to still the nagging voice which states
 "You are assessing these people and you may be sectioning some of them you bastard agent of the state and instrument of satan and all his infernal minions". Yes, quite...

However, I am enjoying the course thus far even as I question 'Why am I doing this?' and we have some interesting discussions about it all. We are in the agricultural campus surrounded by agricultural and equine students. I have never seen so many well filled jodphurs, strapping farm hands and tractors. It's great to be here as spring approaches and I might source some well rotted manure if I play my cards right!