Posted in Change, Debate, Health, Human Rights, Modern society, Skills, Thoughts, Uncategorized

A crisis of Care in Nursing within the NHS. New blog series.

Today, I start a new blog series of concurrent short posts to attract maximum reading and interest. I know there will be interest out there, given recent media headlines. These blog posts need a proper introduction and the reasons given as to why this is now being undertaken by me.

In recent months, the nursing profession has come under immense scrutiny as a catalogue of failures in the NHS has been published,most notably: The Mid- Staffordshire Report. Patients left to drink out of flower vases and astonishing neglect have left the public shocked and disgusted by the systematic failings of basic humanity and care. The spot- light has been placed on nursing like never before and so it should be in the light of what has been reported.

However, I can no longer sit back and let my once respected profession be so hounded and demonized without at least trying to address why some of these incidents may have arisen. This is not an easy task I am about to undertake. Some may be disappointed with the contents of my blog posts. There will be no personal rants, ear bashing and no leaning towards one political party. This is an attempt to unravel what has gone wrong, to give the public a truer picture of the real lives of nurses working now in a 21 Century NHS and how times have changed from 1948.

It will look at nurse training, how the trained nurse’s role has changed against a tide of wider NHS reforms. It will look at nurse leadership and management.  How it has become increasingly harder to deliver basic standards of care, humanity and compassion with an ever increasing workload; and crucially a shift of emphais as to what that work now comprises.The pressure and demands in people’s needs and expectations against a backdrop of increased health-care needs and complexity. Finally, It will attempt to discuss what now needs to be put in place for nursing to win back public confidence, as a profession nurses can be proud off.

This blog is NOT about making excuses for poor standards of care but to explain why a combination of many factors have created what we are now reading about in the NHS today. It will largely not be discussing the theme of privatization, another too larger and separate area to merge with this series.

I hope people will find this helpful and any comments welcome. Having worked in the NHS for 28 years, (up to a year ago), it is hoped that an insight from an experienced nurse can be given in a manner that is professional and constructive.

Tomorrow, we are going right back to the beginning and start with the role of the student nurse……. 

Posted in Change, Debate, goals, Home, Law, Modern society, Politics, Skills, Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Living Wage

Good morning.

I am no politician and I am no business women either but today I want to talk about something that seems so obvious to me that concerns both.
From today, changes are taking place that will many affect many people in relation to their incomes and standards of living. For many, these changes will bring even more hardship, stress and unhappiness for many people having to rely on the State to help them live in terms of income.

The government think these cuts are fair, as they don’t want to continue a culture where being trapped in the Welfare State ensnare people into poverty. Apparently, a crucial factor to be out of poverty is to be out of its benefits culture, to be independent and to be free. Plus it argues, the welfare budget has to be chopped due to enormous spiralling costs which the ordinary tax payer can’t be expected to pay. In a way they are saying, do the maths and the sums don’t add up. You could say that is reasonable.

Well, I am not a mathematician either but to me one of the key answers is to create wealth and my simple formula goes something like this.

If you pay people a wage that they can actually live on, then they can pay their own council tax, rent or mortgage. They can go to the shops and spend a little on consumer goods. This means that business benefits from their spending. Tax is generated from their shopping with VAT and businesses may start to see a little more profit on their spread sheets. This means businesses who are struggling may struggle less, which means they can pay their bank or their creditors the money they owe. Meanwhile, the government who have generated more income tax by higher wages have more in the treasury pot to play with and can start to look at its own debt and spending needs. Businesses productivity is increased and the need for new jobs. More jobs, more income tax and so forth. The spiral goes on.

In the meantime, people start to feel a bit  happier, can begin to feed themselves properly- buy less horse meet at a £1 for eight burgers and actually start to feel better; loosing some weight may be (obesity epidemic, major health crisis) and eating a few fresh fruit and vegetables. Children can actually go to school with breakfast inside them perhaps and be more productive in the classroom. Existing health-conditions caused by stress ( I don’t know of any chronic disability not affected by stress) may actually ease a little.The country feels more upbeat and the Government of the day may not be seen as quite the Mr Nasty anymore. I could go on and, anyway, many people are saying this already, nothing new here really.

Ah, you say, but there is a problem and I know exactly what you are going to say. Businesses can’t afford the cost of paying people a living wage. Yes, for many small businesses this is true. My own brother, only last week, has had to let his 15 year old shop business go under because of an inflated renewal of a shop lease he could not pay. less people not coming into his shop to buy greetings cards. His lease holder, unfortunately, could not be sensible enough to give my brother a fair deal given his dwindling takings. He just wanted an ever huger slice of money from rent ( typical property owner!!??). My brother could not give him that rise of double the rent. Now there is another empty shop in the high street somewhere and both people have lost out. He and his wife are another two statistics about to “sign on” and get £111 a week as a couple. He is not one of the so called scroungers either. he has worked all his life and is in his late fifties.

So yes, from his conversations, I know how hard it is to give people a living wage who are in business. But he tells me that not only this government but the last government too taxed small businesses to death and to help them we need to give them a break. This government needs to help ease the burden that small companies face. 

Now to wealth distribution: there are big companies with massive profits. Tesco is one such company, along with other supermarket chains, and we all know how little their workers get, with fewer full-time paid jobs to go with it. Could the government not legislate that for those companies, with an turn over of X billions, that they should see less profit for the few at the top and more wealth distribution for the workers at the bottom? Ah, but that would squash a free-market enterprise! Big money would take off oversees. Well, we have to put people first before big money I am afraid. Simple as that!

This all seems, perhaps, a bit of an Utopian and simplistic view or perhaps rather a socialist position. Well, I am not a socialist, in fact that is the scary bit. I don’t know whether I really trust in any of the main stream parties anymore, there lies the danger. When there is discontent extremism can flourish. I am not saying we are going to have a revolution but this is where more extreme parties can take a hold. Recent By-election results? I think you get it.

So don’t be a April Fool Mr Government. If you want any chance of surviving- currently you are on life support, then start having an agenda to start paying people a real living wage. Don’t try and tell us that by taking us off Welfare, that the very nature of that decision will makes us suddenly not poor anymore because we are not in receipt of it( Yesterday’s BBC news). People on the minimum wage are poor and they can work 80 hours a week and will still be poor, especially if they are on their own with children. I know them, I speak with them. People who can’t genuinely work because of disability can’t work. Don’t take away the main life- line they have had. We are supposed to be a fair and civilized society arent’t we? Nothing civilized or fair about this is there!! Wake up and start listening to the people who voted you in. We can easily vote you OUT!

 

Posted in achievement, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Psychology, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Nobody yet Somebody

Born as a nobody and to die as a nobody, but in between to become a somebody.
To kiss the stars,
To touch the waves,
To paint the skies,
To dance away and
To flirt with today courageously,
As a place where new beginnings flow,
And where little radiances come and go.
Little shimmers of light in the greyness of that once foggy light,
Of holes and pits of many dark night.
To be reborn as someone new, no more to be forgotten as thyself,
We strive on to be that somebody, that someone once knew, before time steals it away from us,
As we return to mere ash and dust,
A cloud,an image that defines the us.
The nobody that becomes the somebody,
That is our in-print upon this Earth,
Of Heat,
Pain,
Passion
and
Lust.

@onethoughtfulwoman Feb 2013.

Posted in Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Learning, Philosophy, Religion, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

Upon The Millennium Bridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The symbol of a divine power and fear looms across the swaying steel.
Stone and metal,old and new.
Menacing perhaps,yet an awesome beautiful dome.
No-one who walks across the tide can escape the view,
A commanding scene where thoughts may stir of What might be,after this place of earth and dust.

The Little People scurry like ants both away and towards the imposing place,
Questions and yet also a vacant possession amongst the traveller’s minds upon the Millennium Bridge.
A mulling of crowds thinking about their day,
Where are they going? To heaven or to hell?
Or perhaps to simply no-where but across the tide of steel to another destination.
The moment moves on and so does the ticking clock of time nestled in the tower of monsters and angels.

Science builds the bridge and dogma builds the building.
Reason has it that no-one really knows why we are here, or who or what has placed us upon this World
But science tells us more about the building blocks, than faith that built the rocks of that solid place.
Some walkers are curious, some don’t care at all
Some cry forth that the answers of creation is called The God.

The sky looms in and growls like a angry lion, as big and as mighty as God himself?
Is there something in the clouds and that infinite space that holds the answers to all of the universe’s questions?
Be that a God or a gas.
For now the bridge sways in the wind and the clouds travel on ahead,
The pedestrians continue on their way and forge their own path, and hazzard their own quesses to the big questions upon the Millennium Bridge.

Onethoughtfulwoman Feb 2013

The Image of the Millennium Bridge is placed here with kind permission of James Rye @athinkingman whose images appears on flickr and is reproduced here specfically to highlight this work. He has sole copyright and is the owner of the photo. May I take this opportuinty to thank him for loaning this image here.

Posted in Change, Health, lonelyness, Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Thoughts, Time

February’s Trip.

Fog

A blanket space of pain,
heavy,dark,it invades my brain.
How troubled is trouble?
How much reality is real?
So many circles of thought.
So unbending a wheel.

Up and down the flight path goes,
it takes a hold,
it does not bow.

Your brightness hurts my eyes in the darkness.
Your happiness only highlights my pain.
Your smile re-enforces the flowing tear.
Your energy compresses the void of despair.

That sleep is release from the knowing, the tomb.
I wake and fall ever further in gloom.
I watch my own death,
it feels rather strange,
and carve out the scene all be it with shame.

A sorriness lingers,
but a desire to renew.
A clutching of hope.
A crystal of dew.

One can dream still, or is it too late?
Oh God help me please, or is this my fate?

Another day to rise above the greyness.
Another day to feel the grip.
Another plane journey into the darkness,
when all one wants is to end this trip.

@onethoughtfulwoman 5th, March 2010.

Posted in Change, Debate, feminist, Health, Human Rights, Ideas, Men, Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Role of women, sex, Thoughts, Women

Fifty Shades of Grey. A viewpoint

I have read Fifty Shades of Grey ( book one) because I was curious and wanted to know what all the fuss was about. My daughter was reading it and I wanted to engage with her over the book’s content given the known material within it. I skimmed through the book at first and became very concerned very quickly. Here was a book portraying a young women clearly with low self-esteem with emotional issues embarking upon her first sexual relationship. It wasn’t the graphic content that shocked me, it was two things. The lesser being 1) That it depicted experiencing multiple orgasms all in one session could be so easy, that everyone clearly will know how to do it and if you can’t then you might think you have a problem. ( About 9/10 women do not experience orgasms through penetrative sex alone, so I have read).( A side remark: no mention of the fact either that having sex that many times so frequently in one day would probably lead you to, at the very least, thrush and an urinary infection). But like one friend said to me when I mentioned that, she laughed:

” Well, they are still lucky buggers aren’t they .”

We both laughed, so we can see a funny side of it too. However, the other more serious connotation of this novel is, 2) it’s clearly about an abuse relationship, hyped up with a BDSM topic. People either love or hate Mr Grey. I loath him, seriously would you really want to see your own daughter go out with such a control-freak? The appalling writing style,- mention of the “Inner goddess” bit incessantly and all the other slang words, did- my- head- in, could be forgiven if the message of the book was clear: stay away from this type of relationship. It didn’t, it glamorize it and that I can’t forgive her for. Anyway, I won’t write further about my viewpoint as this blog is not really about that. It is written to show a letter concerning an answer I received from a women’s group committed to protecting women against domestic violence. They work with the victims and see plenty of real My Greys’, his personality type, how abuse starts and where it ends. The happy after story line of they get married, have a baby in the later part of the Trilogy ( Sorry, If I have spoilt it but this is important) and he is a changed man doesn’t happen in real life for the most part. You see the problem with Fifty Shades of Grey, as a story, is that some people will see this as for real. Remember the Mo story in Eastenders. The domestic violence run where the woman murdered her violent and abusive partner. The actor who was the perpetrator had women coming up to him in the street shouting:

“Leave Mo alone your bastard.”

Stories can become real for some. More people watched Des, Angie and the divorce papers on Christmas day being handed out in Eastenders, in some other story line, than the funeral of Princess Diana.

The Wearside Women in Need  wrote an excellent article in The Daily Telegraph condemning 50 Shades. I wrote to defend them and this was their reply. Paragraph three is particularly interesting. I had not thought of that angle at all.

” Hello …..

Thank you for your message of support.

We have, as you can imagine, been snowed under with both positive and negative responses to the campaign but what has really struck us is (a) how many women have wanted to speak out against this trilogy and (b) how hard this has been for them to do on an individual basis.

Here at the campaign we believe that every recent generation of women has had to contend with the publication of at least one book, film or other ‘literary endeavour’ that seeks to both legitimate patriarchy and to undermine the social, political and economic gains of women.

The fact that this book has been written by a woman, and is largely being read by women, does not undermine this analysis – indeed, if anything it serves to highlight how contemporary women, faced with attacks on their employment, on the services that they have developed, used and run and on the goal of gender equality in all policy areas, are starting to seek refuge (both literally and in their reading material) in the fantasy of male control and male protection.

That this will lead to violence and abuse for some, and to the loss of autonomy for many more, is incredibly sad and something we must all fight against.  Hence our campaign.

So thank you, again, for writing to us. Your support is appreciated.

The 50 Shades of Abuse Campaign.”

Wearside Women in Need are calling for a burning of the books on bonfire night. A bit extreme you might say but the feelings are clearly running high for some. I wonder what E.L. James thinks to that idea. The money she has made with record-breaking sales, she no doubt doesn’t care much about anyone’s opinion. However, I am glad it is not me in that situation, even if a lot of money would come in very handy for my charity work.

I am no way criticising anyone for reading the book, nor for personally loving it and wanting to read the whole series. All I am saying is, that is going to be interesting to see in the future if 50 Shades could be measured as to whether an  increase in abusive relationships has occurred say over a three-five year time frame. It would be worth while to conduct a piece of mixed research( both quantitative and qualitative) so we could truly understand what effect this type of book does have on real people’s lives.Meanwhile, in the short-term we know that Anna Summers has a Fifty Shades of Grey section, that sex toys sales have gone up by 130%, that the nations bedrooms are being revolutionised- so we are told, and a lot of women just seems to love Fifty Shades of Grey. Let’s hope for most people they are just enjoying great sex. The baby boom will no doubt hit us in about six to nine Months time:):) Midwives will be at least be more busy and stretched than ever.

( PS: My daughter loved 50 Shades, could see my point and agreed, then went on to read the other two books, stating book two was slow but book three was the best with more of a plot to it).

Posted in achievement, Change, Debate, Development, goals, Human Rights, Ideas, Liberation, lonelyness, Modern society, Personal Growth, Skills, Sport, Thoughts

Gold or Tin: some thoughts on disability as the Paralympic Games commence.

Watched the opening of the Paralympic games last night. The theme was enlightenment and it was quite spectacular. I know this post isn’t exactly going to be original because what I am about to say, though with different words, is being said by others at present. Steve Birrell’s article in the London Evening Standard, two evenings ago, is one excellent example. We might be giving Gold to our Paralympic champions from today, but in reality many disabled people are receiving Tin. This not just in financial terms, as benefits are squeezed and assessments for Disability Living Allowances become a mile field of impossibility, but in the attitudes of people and what opportunities those with disability really do have in society.

Steve Birrell told many facts I didn’t know. However, one of them, having recently worked with a child with Special Educational Needs, stood out for me. That only one in 12 adults will learning difficulties are actually in employment. Most people know very little about the real issues of those facing disability and may have never worked with, nor had an honest conversation with them. Last night, we saw amazing and brave people flying on trip wires with limbs missing and gliding through the sky with effortless simplicity. In reality, if you are in a wheelchair you have to face the problem of sometimes to few disabled parking slots and negotiating a mind field of obstacles; of pushing crowds too busy to stop or help another disabled person. It’s amazing what you find out when you have to actually do it for yourself. You are on two legs pushing the wheelchair or trying to find the parking pace in a popular tourist attraction. You quickly come into difficulty with frustration.

The question I want to ask is, do we really care about disabled people? Ask yourself that question honestly. An elderly friend recently returned from the Philippines was negotiating heavy luggage on the Tube on his way home. In the country where we had come from, a different kind of respect and tolerance is shown to the infirm and to those who need assistance. My friend had been back in the UK for only a few minutes when he was nearly trampled down by people pushing past his suitcase as he was hurled some insults about “getting out-of-the-way granddad” and he isn’t even classed as disabled. Do our society really champion those who don’t quite fit the “norm” in society or who appear weaker and infirm?

While I worked in the NHS there was a huge emphasis, within my mandatory training, on respecting diversity, equality and disability. In fact, on applications forms you are encouraged to declare your disability, even when it comes to mental health. Depression can now be on such a tick list, if you feel it has or does severely impact upon your life. Indeed, much has been done to potentially give equal opportunities to all disabled people with employment legislation. The promotion of an attitude, “you can come out of the closet and say how this disability has affected you and we will care and understand.” (However,whether you actually get the job or promotion is another matter)! There are aids for the disabled person that are imaginative and extremely useful like never before. My own father who is now registered partially sighted has discovered this and the support and practical help he has received has been excellent.

However, for myself, even with nearly 30 years of caring for others in the Health Service, it wasn’t until the last six months that I realised, even more the harsh realities, the struggle and for carers the loneliness of what living with disability can actually mean. I have said to most friends that the child I worked with in education taught me far more than I could ever teach him. The complexity of character, the uniqueness of the human being. The challenge of  my own mind set of  thinking of what I thought was “normal.” What is normal anyway? And how the blueprint of living is not the same, and to be happy can take on many facets. I learnt further patience, humility, compassion, new-found fun and laughter more than I had ever done before. It was an honour and a great experience to be part of that young person’s life and one, even though that period has now ended, of whom I shall still keep in touch with I hope for a very long time.

What has this got to do with the Paralympics? My message is simple. Examine your real attitudes towards those with disability as you watch those games. Really look closer at what the government is really doing to the lives of genuine disabled people and speak out against it. Go out and meet, connect with a disabled person if you have little or no experience of them. Look at the wider picture of how we treat people who may need help, or who appear frailer or weaker than ourselves. Acknowledge  the incredible strength, character and fortitude of a disabled person but also the power of our minds to help us adapt when disability strikes. How we can overcome the most appalling circumstances and injuries to still survive and to live with purpose. How disability could open doors and new ways of living and thinking, not close them?

Most disabled people do not expect to get a Gold medal or are a Paralympic champion. They have no need to prove they are worth Gold as they are that already. But let’s not give them the medal of Tin, of being let down, ignored, marginalised and really on the edges of society. As we clap and applaud them over the next 11 days, let’s make sure that once all the hype has died down and all games packed away, that we continue to really give the disabled person the respect and the attention they deserve. For them not to go back into the shadows and be forgotten as we, the  so-called “able-bodied”, get on with our lives.

I hope this blog will inspire you to think more about the lives of disabled people and how we can help them to achieve their full potential. Thank you for reading.

( The above image I know does not represent the Paralympic flag or movement but was the closest image I had, with an Olympic theme, to be appropriate for this blog’s content)

Posted in Art, Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Ideas, Men, Philosophy, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, sex, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Writing

The Angel’s Game: Part 2

I wasn’t sure how I would find The Angel’s Game after the excellent, if not involved and sometimes confusing plot, of  The Shadow of the Winds. However, after reading the first two pages I knew this book was going to surpass and excel beyond “Shadows” and it did not disappoint, I could barely put it down.

What I love most about this book is the rich, poetic, elegant flow of words that help to create this magnificent tale of a writer who sells his soul, perhaps for fame, for money or both by being given a commission to write a book. This work is like no other, from a mysterious publisher for a vast sum of money. From the start Carlos Ruiz Zafon makes it clear what he is trying to say. For a man’s ego, sometimes he is prepared to do anything, even with his own near destruction at stake.

The depth of how the author created the characters and how each one was woven and intertwined with the story is something that Zafon does superbly. You could feel the desperate obsessive love that David Martin, the central character, feels for Cristina and how this relationship unfolds. You are not sure at first how the added relationship of Isabella is going to go, this held me the most, and I wanted to cry when reading her last letter to him. This was truly moving and haunting words so tragic and so authentic feeling real to me.

David Martin was intellectually a sharp and essentially good man, yet numbed by years of being let down and abused, he was turned into a character of coldness and unfeeling at times, seen especially in his interactions with his doting young assistant Isabella.  Yet, his drive to survive and to find the truth concerning the darkness of where he lived, that was linked with his own work, gave this novel a sometimes creepy, supernatural air about it. Turing into a detective tale set in a Gothic theme, this enriched the whole fabric of the novel and gave the plot a nail-biting feel. Just when you thought there was nothing new to add, a twist emerged and you were once again thrown head long into the pages of a tale intense and demanding to its audience. You had to concentrate, otherwise you would lose the thread of the plot.

Then the end: how strange. I read it twice and could not take it in. Had I missed something? For me, it left unanswered questions and a feeling that suddenly where it had been convincing it became a non-reality. Why has Zafon done this other reviewers have asked? It was a clever turn and the author’s notes for discussion could say why. Who was the publisher? I have my thoughts which would make the end plausible. Never-the-less I am hooked. I can forgive him for the ending though as I want to read much more from this man. It is hinted in reviews that with the completion of the four novels Zafon prepares to write, the end of The Angel’s Game slots into place. Is this up Zafon’s sleeve? Knowing his writing a little then nothing would surprise me.

If you want a book where you can enjoy some history, feel the city of Barcelona on your finger tips, with skilled and crafted writing around a great plot then read Zafon. It’s poetry from a pen and characters that come alive.  It is the only novel on finishing that I felt I want to read again and along with it The Shadow of the Winds. I  was not aware that The Angel’s Game was joined to “Shadows” until the final twists at the end. It was an Ahh moment. They can be read alone or as a complete story, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books being the cement that link and binds them together. A great find for me in fiction, like no other for a long time. For a thinking mind it is a great read.

(The images are photographs taken at the Monastry of Pedralbes visited at the time of reading and one area featured in the author’s work. The angels are a perfect choice of picture for this blog I felt.)

Posted in Art, Ideas, Learning, Men, Personal Growth, Relationships, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

The Angel’s Game. Part 1.

Introduction prior to a personal book review.

There is a saying that dogs choose their owners, not the other way around. Once I had started reading The Angel’s Game, I wondered if this book had found me, had sought me out and had choosen me to read it. There are some strange coincidences to this novel in terms of its content. How the main characters names are the same as two very central and important men in my life. How one of the key characters had staged their own death on a date mentioned by the author, that being  the same date also as the birth of my daughter.Things die in the same place as where new life arrives perhaps? That was the message that came across to me when reading this same reference of date. Also, to read a page in a hotel room in Barcelona where the main character recalls walking along the hill road of Pedralbes where I had stumbled across the very same place that afternoon; being many miles away from home and having never set foot in Spain until that week. Well, it feels nostalgic if nothing else.

This year has seen old ways of living being replaced with new ones. This magnificent novel left me feeling three things that are new. The first being an desire to write a creative story, something that I have never felt an urge to do. Until now, all my writing and blogging have been concerned about the giving of facts, discussion or dissemination of information. I am not saying that I will do this but a touch- paper of wanting to do so was certainly lit.  Secondly, that life can not be placed neatly into packages of right and wrong. How good people, who behave out of character or even very badly, can still be inherently good inside. It is the only the outside world and their experiences from it that can drive them to almost anything if the circumstances are set in a certain way.  Thirdly, a re-enforcement of wanting to stay within my new world of work in education. To help and inspire other minds to want to know, and to have a desire to read all the magical stuff, thoughts, charaters and facts that can be found within the wonderful world of books.

Read on, I hope to the next blog, a book review as to why I thought this book was something quite special to read. It certainly should have a place in The Cementry of Forgotten Books in the author’s tale!

Posted in achievement, Change, Commitment, Debate, Development, goals, Health, Ideas, Learning, Liberation, Modern society, Personal Growth, Psychology, Thoughts, Time, Women

So what’s new to the thinking?

Following on from my thoughts on the last post, I have had time to discuss and make some progress, at least in the ideas stake. This is what I have come up with so far.

1) Photography has  been a real plus and some images have been spotted by others for good works and greater promotion. This has not been sought after at all. It has just come my way. Call it luck or call it good exposure, probably both. www.flickr.com has done a lot of good for many image takers and the internet is a good way at getting your shots on a greater public viewing gallery. I should explore this further. There are many out there who would wish to make an income, many competitors but not to be overlooked. Photography is an art form that needs to be worked on as a skill. I could perhaps have this as one small income source. It could compliment other aspects of work.

2) I can’t sit around and expect the lucky break, someone to take notice or give me a leg up. I have to make my own luck and give myself a leg up. Have one big idea as to how I wish to do that. It is ambitious and sadly at this point requires a good bit of investment which I don’t have. Call it my long-term aim for the next five years. I have had it sitting on the back-burner of my brain for about 3-4 years and have turned away from it, afraid of the time and investment it would take. The risk of it coming to nothing. It pulls me back though as there is a need and I think a market for it. You shall just have to wait and see what it is, as I don’t want people stealing my ideas or plans:). It’s totally a health based issue where my knowledge on certain things could be utilised. This would be very meaningful to me.

3) Must not be side tracked. I have been up more than one wrong wall. Women’s health and education are at the centre of who I am. I can be nothing else now. It would be to deny myself. I can not do this.

4) Being organised and tidy in my life is very important, especially to my own mental well-being. Need to still get a grip on work-life balance. I need some order not chaos as sometimes this can happen. Less so but potential to be there. My evernote account is one good thing I have now to control and organise information. Still need to work on others.

5) My charity involvements should stop at the weekends unless it is very urgent. A friend would call it, a much-needed boundary. Weekends should be time out from it. The constant access to e-mails can be a disadvantage, especially if a partner engages in work which involves you. Tell them and him that weekend are now off the agenda for “good works.” It can wait until Monday.

6) Ideas are still coming in from the work front and an appraisal today was enormously helpful. At least someone has spotted that I could do so much more. That was uplifting. I am pursuing some avenues and another job application for a job that would start in September.

Finally one point from today. My daughter is studying psychology and wants to focus on depression for her specialist module next year. I asked her a frank question and got a frank response which I feel happy to share.

Question: Why do you think I may have been depressed in the past. The root cause of it?

Answer: Because you feel you haven’t got anywhere with your job, your money or your house? The frustration of it.

She’s not far off the mark. There are other reason of course. I think being in control and not having that taken away is important. Like you have no say in anything. You need a say in all things.

My daughter is one smart girl. She’ll do well. I am sure of it.

Next time, I may be ready to talk more about depression, though it is a little scary and exposes the vulnerable side.

We will see.