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Today was knitting and stitching show fun, made even more fun for winning tickets. Myself and Wendy wandered around, buying little but really enjoying ourselves. Coffee from RDS canteen thing is vile, though, I should remember that for next time I'm out there (I keep forgetting.)

Lots of catching up then into town for more coffee and chatting when we finally found somewhere. Neither of us know where's good for coffee anymore and it's not like the O'Connell St. area was ever the best for it anyway and certainly not after 6 on a Sunday. She's started a new job and making comparisons to oldHospital is always fun. She mentioned she'd been looking after someone with a Bartholin's cyst a while back and thought of me. How sweet :)

Got home to find someone else had done the dishes after dinner and even left me some food. Whole lotta yay goin' on.
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I seem to like doing these round solstice. 2011 wasn't much kinder to me than last year was.
Review of 2011 )
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I am currently boggling over school uniforms. Darling nieces go to a wonderful, wonderful school that is very lucky to receive more funding than most because of the catchment area being one of the more deprived ones in the town so class sizes are bleedin' tiny compared to the school I went to (no, really tiny, Emma has 17 in her class. Kids in the school I went to have 30+.) They try so hard to keep costs down - book loan schemes and the like - and the parish church organises a lot of activities for free/next to nothing. In short, it's a brilliant school. Yet their uniform is one that can only be bought in one shop in the town. Tunics cost between 25 and 40 euro, skirts 20+, uniform tracksuits are 30+. (Blouses and cardigans just have to be light blue and navy respectively so can at least be bought wherever the hell parents want.)

I know it's only a small thing, but really, just a little daft.

When I rule the world, yadda yadda...
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Y'know, there's a lot to be said for just getting tipsy and laughing with a dear friend. It's something I used to enjoy doing back in the day of Friday "Fibbers?" texts and didn't really realise how much I missed it. Cos, see, the thing is, I hate pubs these days. Or rather, I hate not knowing if I can sit in a pub long enough to make the trip worthwhile. But tonight, tonight was good. Tonight there was beer and laughter and secrets and suddenly feeling normal height again. Better and cheaper than any massage.

And then there was news from home that Marfa was on a trolley in A+E, cos it'd been an entire _week_ since I worried about family, but I didn't leave my booze or my friend and I didn't run away home to where I couldn't have done anything anyway. Look how I've grown! ?appendicitis, then "uh, you're grand, go home" so will quiz mum in the morning. Poor baby sis.

Tomorrow I'm going to blitz the grey hair with henna, as twitter has now told me what "consistency of double cream" actually means. I mean, really, double cream? It's far from double cream I was reared.

And now I really want chips and a batter sausage, but will settle for tea and toast and an early (for me) night for I've truly had a lovely evening and life, it is good. Still breathing.
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Knitting's kinda cool. Before Christmas last year, the last thing I'd knit was a jumper in September 1988 and that was enough to put me off for quite a while, especially as it was so loosely knit it still fits me and I'm a good bit bigger now than when I was 10. I'm working on my second big project for me, a rather fetching geansaí in grey acrylic cos a) acrylic is cheap and b) acrylic doesn't make me want to take a brillo pad to my skin. So far it's been ripped back entirely once and one of the smaller cables fixed once. Need to do the same crazy juggling of crochet hooks and safety pins tomorrow, as in my frazzled and exhausted state this evening I managed to make the same sodding mistake again. It's all learning.

My first sunflower is properly out, my first courgettes harvested and thoroughly nommed. There's probably going to be way too many of them to be eaten here so any extras are going up to one of mum's nuns who keeps sending us the most delicious waxy potatoes. I love waxy spuds, don't give me any of those awful balls of flour because I like my food to have a good chance of remaining on my fork until it gets to my mouth. Balls of flour are useless for anything other than boiling anyway, whereas a good waxy spud is so versatile. There are two baby cucumbers on the only surviving plant (they really don't like being potted up or disturbed at all) that are about 3cm long. SandyDog has killed near enough all the onions and I've given up on them. Unlike slugs, I'm not allowed kill her. Martha would be quite upset. I'd love to know what she thinks she has buried in my raised bed that needs to be dug up, but the hole is now big enough that she can lie in it without being seen.

Yeasties are brilliant, too, though I've got nothing fermenting at the minute bar the chocolate mead as I'm out of room and need to figure out some things about storage and whether or not I still want to do it anyway. This is the sort of weather I like for bread, so blaas are going to feature heavily in my diet over the next couple of days. I'd give a firstborn for some real blaas from the Waterford blaa mines, though. Not my own, obviously.

Social things have been happening lately, some of which were an awful lot of fun with pretties and others which weren't so much. Have roped poor S into spending a good portion of tomorrow with me as I need some immoral support and who better than him to provide. Need to get to Cork again soonish, want Cake and hugs and kittehs and giggling and movies but also need Dublin and beer and hugs there, too. Have barely left Drogheda in months and this self-imposed exile is starting to get to me. But onwards, upwards. Still breathing.
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Martha was meant to come home today but after the bad weather at the start of her holidays they decided to stay another day. So I've got a snoring, farting SandyDog on my bedroom floor, curled up on two of my pillows and my slanket. She occasionally wakes up a bit and looks at me to see if I'm going to do anything entertaining such as give her some chicken or a hamster, then gives up and starts snoring again. I snore. I've woken people up when there were two walls and a corridor between us. I say this just so you understand what I mean when I say that this animal is the loudest snorer in the house.

Mr. Bitey the hamster is also in here for reasons unknown. He's a hamster, he's in a cage, he's making a lot of noise on his fancy wheel. Apparently his real name's Hamilton, but he bites me and only me so I've rechristened him Mr. Bitey (though I've been feeding him hamster crack all week to try and make him love me. Or sunflower seeds as they're better known.) I've had hamsters of my own before. Berk and myself got on rather well once we both got over that one time he bit my nipple, though admittedly he didn't last too long before escaping and drowning in the loo (dead hamsters don't flush.) Then there was Oscar who survived a lot longer and didn't die a horrible smooshy death, despite figuring out how to open his hamster ball. He wasn't the most pleasant tempered of animals, but we got along fine as long as I kept him supplied with sunflower seeds.

Last night. I can totally do this. I can't let anything happen to either animal though, not after the time I lost Daz the hamster. Martha still hasn't entirely forgiven me for that one.

This is all making me realise that maybe I'm not actually cut out for parenthood. Goldfish, I can totally handle goldfish. Maybe one of them instead of a baby.
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Life is full of questions and occasional mysteries wot can be solved.

Like where did that micra come from that was blocking our drive for a week? Answer: still unsure but it got driven away today.

And why are there no chips to be had delivered in Drogheda after 0200? Answer: Cos it's a godawful town, but tweet about it, then someone who you can't actually find on twitter will offer to deliver some to you cos he's quite a nice boy sometimes and cos twitter fixes everything.

And how did I manage to get a paper cut on my nipple? Answer: not everything should be kept down bra, especially not bus tickets.

And what can I get pierced? Answer: Still dunno but do still want some new metal stuck through me. Shiny shiny metal.
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Tonight, the news came that the nurses and midwives bill is to be withdrawn.

So many people worked so hard to get it stopped in its present form and I was one of 'em. I think I'll have a little drinkie to celebrate. Thank you all who supported this and listened to me rant, it meant a lot to me. Slight case of happy tears and bouncing and relief going on now.

Next step, submissions on new draft, more lobbying, more letters. We still need a new Act, but this time we can make it so much better. The war ain't over yet but this battle, this battle is ours.

As that fella from across the wave said, is féidir linn.
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Today was brewday. Stuck on another gallon of super sticky (the second mead recipe I made, and by far the best received) and oh my God chocolate mead. If the wort is anything to go by, and it usually is, this is something that's going to be bottled in very small bottles. Not because of alcohol content - I never intentionally brew above 10% and most of the yeasts I use just don't tolerate anything higher than 14% ABV before dying happy deaths - but because it's.... obscenely good. Trust me when I say I know what obscenely good tastes like.

The recipe says not to drink it for at least two years. That's going to be very difficult. Adapted it quite a bit, adding a decent amount of vanilla and a few other secrets. Very much looking forward to it being ready. In the meantime, I've the last bottle of apple pie sitting beside me, warmed as it releases the cinnamon kick that bit better. I love how different meads are best served at different temperatures. Slightly sticky is best at room temp, original number 1 mead best chilled, apple pie warm.

I've been brewing on and off on my own since about 1998, still learning lots with each batch. Don't want to wait to see what the chocolate has to teach me, but I guess deferred gratification is a skill I have to learn sometime.
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I have a real urge to make a hibiscus flavoured mead. Course, I can't find any sodding hibiscus anywhere. Grar.

Simon has been an absolute rock over the last week and a bit. Likewise Christian, but that's not news. Si... has completely surprised me. Utter arse at times, but a good person to have on your side. I pick my friends well. Boyfriends, not so much. Note a theme?

Have started knitting again, couldn't even trust myself to pick a pattern for ages. Mindless hat now, cos anything suitable for summer would be _sensible_.

Still pretty down, btw. Still feel like a rotten failure. Mostly cos I actually am. I miss being a god.
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Today I cleared out my locker in work. It wasn't quite as bad an experience as I thought it would be. Thankfully, the time I'd chosen to nip in and do it was one where there weren't many people around - evening breaks hadn't yet started and short-day staff had gone home already.

That locker has accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. I found report sheets from 2008 that need shredding, three pairs of shoes, a tin of tuna, my netbook, two t-shirts, a pair of pyjamas, two coats, one stethoscope, a pot noodle, a tube of bonjela, tea bags, a travel mug, an umbrella, a kettle, four empty cigarette packets, three hair clippy things, a towel, a radio, my most comfortable black bra and my crocs. The PINK mini-fridge that Santy brought me for my little room in res was also there, but not in the locker. Most of the stuff has gone out to Blanch, awaiting delivery some time after myself and Wendy do a yarn run followed by a mead tasting session. I might try and get a bottle of Bunratty, just to see what the competition's like.

Next trip I'll hand back the key, along with my swipe.

Apart from a couple of hours of what can only be described as "wah", I've been pretty stable emotionally since finding out. Almost happy. I do need to sort out a decent massage sometime as shoulders should not look as if they're attached to your earlobes (I hunch when stressed) but other than that I'm mostly ok. And maybe that's enough to tell me that this wasn't for me, after all. Still not making any decisions though, right now I don't trust myself with anything longer term than "hot chocolate or coffee?" Which reminds me, I've some Easter eggs that need to be used up. Hot chocolate it is.
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Right, so the self-pitying has mostly stopped. I won't say there's not occasional bouts of wah, cos that would be a great big stinking lie. It wasn't entirely unexpected, I'd had the best part of a week's notice that passing was unlikely, but I tried to soldier on.

Some thoughts are forming about what I need and want to do next. First on the list is run away to Kinsale for a few days, hug Christian, stroke kittehs, eat Cake, swim in sea. Second is some more physio sessions. Some health stuff can get taken care of now I've got time. And then there's poking college about commencement dates and stuff and finding a job so I can pay off debts and maybe even buy beer. Beer would be really good. I'm also kinda liking that we're heading into summer and that means PICNICS. PICNICS are my new SCIENCE.

Still a bit delicate, but coping far better than I did with any setbacks last year. Not ashamed of failing, cos I gave it my all and it just wasn't for me. And it'll all be ok in the end.
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There's no easy way to put this. I've failed my placement, I cannot repeat, I will not qualify as a midwife but I can at least take the ordinary degree in midwifery studies. No idea what I can do with that or what I want to do with it, but this weekend I'm feeling particularly delicate so lots of looking after myself will happen.
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I don't quite know why I was complimented on my hard work today, I spent most of the day praying for more coffee. I guess what I need to do to do well in this job is always work on less than 2 hours sleep a night. That was a bit painful, let me tell you.

Dinner last night to celebrate parents' wedding anniversary, sister's birthday and family being over from Rugby. Went to Donegan's in Monasterboice, one of my favouritest places to eat, evar. So full afterwards I couldn't eat until lunchtime today.

Five weeks down in this placement as of tonight. Last week starts tomorrow night, four nights and I'm done there, one way or another. Nights are going to be interesting with this commute, but at least it's only 4 nights instead of the usual run of 7. And now, I can no longer ignore the siren song of my bed for I must be up early tomorrow to have my teeth poked and prodded and hand over a first born in exchange. Never said it was going to be my firstborn, mind. 2 hours sleep definitely not enough.
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All I have to talk about is work. That's not a bad thing, really, cos I do love it so. I love, love, love the warm fuzzies from seeing how my care (my care! me! mine!) turned someone from scared, in tears and about to give up on ever getting that baby to feed, into someone smiling and laughing at just how brilliant her body was at feeding her baby. I love having students of my very own. I love handing over at the end of the day (this used to scare the bejaysus out of me cos I'm all quiet and shy and stuff.)

I'd like it if I could figure out how to talk about hand expressing without showing how to do it. Using my own boobs, I mean. Uh, not that I whip 'em out, but you can always tell which is my dominant hand cos that's the side of the white tunic that has a distinct C shaped grubby bit roughly where my nipple is. I keep meaning to knit a couple of boobs for just this purpose, but that'd just be another thing to stick in a pocket and already there's a lot in there: stethoscope, thermometer, alky gel, alky wipes, pens, report sheet, notebook, scissors, random stuff I've picked up over the day.

Staying in town for the few nights made me realise how much I love and miss Dublin. There was tea and conversation + hugs and sleepy beer + hugs and explaining that, no, Dublin is not in England, no, really, trust me on that one you silly person in hostel. People in work have been surprised that I prefer hostels to taking a room in the hospital res, but the isolation in res is horrendous and while I might have to sleep in the same room as a bunch of strangers in a hostel, I get to talk to a bunch of people, too, which is super fun.

Life is being good at the minute. Family well, me confident, sleeping going ok, dad's now 8 stone 12 (that's nearly 4 of yer old money stone up since first lungs of jam stuff in 07). Off to Cyavanish for the night on Monday for favourite uncle's 50th, looking forward to having an excuse to wear a pretty dress. Lots of good going on. And now, breakfast.
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Revolutions are hard.

Fights I've got on at the minute include trying to convince college to keep on our pet sociologist past retirement age. She doesn't want to go, the head of midwifery doesn't want her to go, we don't want her to go, she's brilliant but college are going "la la la la la I can't heeeeeeear youuuuuuu!" Then there's convincing our new minister for health that listening to me and mine is a Good Thing and that the N+MW Bill, as it stands, is stupid and wrong and evil. Evil may be overstating it, but it's late, I'm allowed drahmah.

On the periphery there's trying to get Agnes Gereb out of prison, doing what little I can to protest cuts to midwifery places in Scotland, poking hospitals about at least letting women labour in the birth pools they put in (at no small expense!) and a whole bunch of other things that are all worth it but I can't remember right now.

Then there's work, job applications, commuting, sleeping, knitting to relax, family, family holidays, trying to organise an end of training tea on the lawn thing (yer all invited, I just need to know when I'm finishing so I can actually, ya know, invite people), baking and the usual everyday stuff. Wanna go to Cork for a couple of days, but really can't afford it, which is not fun. Going back unpaid is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Ah well. It's not even that I _need_ to get away right now, but I know in a couple of weeks I'll have run out of candle to burn at both ends. Hm.
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Snippets of lovely things from this week:
- using a language other than English to help a woman with her baby, getting a hug when she left
- a photo of babies born last month to someone I looked after in first year
- making people boggle that I remembered her
- having the knowledge to help someone hand express colostrum for her very sick baby
- brownies! Lots of people leave chocolates, brownies make a nice change (a punnet of strawberries with a bunch of grapes remains my favourite present ever, though)
- sleep. Sleeping more than 6 hours before work is absolutely amazing to me
- doing good, not actively doing evil
- seeing some classmates for the first time since September, slagging Ruthie off terribly, hugging Lyns to death
- not freaking the hell out about giving handover
- remembering to maintain hydration in ridiculously warm environment while wearing polycotton uniform (need to drink >5L/day to pee during working hours) thus saving myself a course of antibiotics
- bouncing about knitting to link lecturer, bouncing about her getting a research fellowship
- now having 5 days off before I'm in W, Th, F next week, will be staying in town Tu,W,Th nights.

This week, life is good.
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Well, busy days are great at work until you get sent home with ?gastroenteritis. Hospital is full of it - all isolation rooms in use, we're having to use the normal private rooms for isolation with associated apronning, gloving, masking up before going in. Private rooms not entirely suitable as they have no ante-room which means either leaving the room with everything contaminated on or taking it off in the room and not being entirely covered, yay. So, I get the start of symptoms, after being really groggy all morning and being really slow at doing anything, reported to ward manager, who sensibly sent me straight home with strict instructions to take care of myself and to the tune of belly rumblings and gurglings and spasms and wobbly legs and sweating and feeling... hungover. Hungover? WTF?

Got home to find out that rest of family have had similar things over the last week (everyone bar dad, who seems to have an immune system of steel these days, hurrah!) so I guess it's just my turn and at least I have an idea how long it'll run. Martha also had the hangover feeling, so glad I'm not crazy. In this regard anyway. Course, students don't get sick time and especially not unpaid students, so on top of today costing me taxi+bus+booked hostel I'll still have to make up today and tomorrow sometime over the next couple of weeks. Delightful! On the upside, have slept most of the day. No, really, sleep has always fixed most things with me - I've slept off UTIs and tonsillitis repeatedly - so am at least feeling a lot better now. Belly rumblings are particularly loud right now, and am getting hungry for the first time since dinner yesterday, which is a good sign I hope.

In other news, nieces still bouncing over dance competition in Wales last week. Niamh has been asked to represent her country for something or other dance related which is kinda big and exciting even if I can't remember what it's for. This is the sort of thing I should remember, bad auntie. Bad auntie going back to sleep again now. Night all.
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I'm often struck by just how bloody small the world is. The guy I most certainly wasn't seeing for four years is very close to the now ex-husband of a classmate. [livejournal.com profile] daya_slyth, who I met on an LJ student comm but not yet in real life is the niece of a neighbour. Simon, who I met 10 years ago in Dublin through mutual Australian friends, is the cousin of one of Martha's exes. William, who I was shacked up with for a couple of years, is my (distant!) cousin and I just can't bring myself to ever let [livejournal.com profile] natural20 know who I do anything entertaining with cos, well, the world is bloody small and he would giggle. All of which makes me wonder, just how many other (blood) family members have I accidentally slept with? Let's face it, if the world is small Ireland is teenchy and I've had an adventurous girlhood.

Been thinking a lot lately about old loves, let's blame Springtime and lambs and sap and stuff. There are still so many of them that are such a big part of my life and that's just brilliant. Though again, world is small, first boy I kissed is the son of a nurse who trained with my mum. I know I've said this a lot lately but with the exception of one exceptionally bad judgement call, I've been a very lucky fishie indeed to still have such lovely people in my life as dear friends. That said, still more than happy being single, though at this stage I've probably forgotten how nice it is not to be. Coming to the end of my training, facing the option of part-time 3 month contracts at home or permanent full-time abroad, it's nice to not have anything keeping me here.

Speaking of ending training, dad was asking last night how much longer I've left. And then you'll be a qualified midwife? Yup, have started job applications already. I don't think I've seen him grin so much about my education before, ever. It's not even so much that they want me out of the house, I hope, more that I've finally found something I want to do. On target to passing this placement, which will leave just one more 6 week stint until I get to finally sign my name at work and follow it with RM instead of std m/w. Can't wait.
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A few months back, a dear friend in Japan told me that his wife was pregnant. Then round Christmas when the knitting kinda took over I asked if I could knit something for the babby. I had this wonderful idea of knitting a blankie that would have A-Z and 1-9 on it (0 would have to be left out for it to be square, blast.) Just after I finished the A I did some quick sums to discover that if I did the original blankie it'd be a bit big for a babby not to mention horribly expensive to post.

Hm, J's a CA grad, used to teach stuff to CTYI kids, hmm, 4x4 square would work in terms of size if each square has 8inch sides, that's it, the child's getting a hexblankie. So Super Sekrit nerdy project was born and then a couple of days after the babby (hello, baby!) was born the blankie arrived. It made me happy to make it, which is the main reason I knit at all. Off again tomorrow so I think once I wake up I'll finally do something about the shrug that tried to defeat me in January. Pic under cut! )


Woke up surprisingly early today for a day off. Somewhere round nine my brain decided that that was quite enough sleep for one night and would I not rather get up and do something on such a glorious day. And glorious it was - two lines of washing done, a bit of gardening (I finally got to dump the spikey plant that tried to take my eye out in 04/05), did henna my hair, bake the most delicious ginger bread ever and read more than I ever want to read about post partum haemorrhage and rosacea. Uh, not that they're linked, though there used to be this idea that redheads were "bleeders." But now I'm exhausted so it's bedtime again. I think a little jaundice for bedtime reading. Mmm stercobiliwotsits.

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