Sunday, 30 May 2010

Actually DOING SOMETHING about it...

You know when you hear about something closing down, or something in trouble and you moan and whinge about it... you say to your friends how terrible it is, and you moan some more?  Sound familiar?  It sure does to me... I've been there tons of times before.  Well yesterday I stopped moaning and actually did something about it!

I live just on the outskirts of one of the most deprived areas of my town.  Luckilly where I am it's very nice, and my neighbours and I are all very civil and/or friendly with each other.  Well there's a new centre nearby that opened at the beginning of the year as a community arts venue.  I'm all for more things in the community for the community to use, and getting children off the streets or their backsides at home!  Shouldn't everyone be?  That's the way I've always felt about such things, but never actually done anything about it of course...

My son came home from school earlier in the year full of enthusiasm at something his teacher told him was starting up... it's an Arts, Crafts, Dance and Drama club for children.  It's only £4 a session for two and a half hours and they're held the last Saturday of every month.  It's run by the local Theatre here in my city, but from our local community arts venue.  He was so excited about it. 

When I went to collect him there was quite a few children there and their parents.  We were all smiling at the children finishing off doing a drama game.  The children were so happy and having such fun!   Daniel's loved it ever since... he looks forward to going there so much he's forever asking when it's that Saturday!

However the numbers dwindled... last month when I went to collect him there was only two children there - and he was one of them.  This month when I took him along there was only him and one other - but this cother hild was a new one that had never been before.  They told me they were only going to put on a half session due to only having the two kids and would only charge us half...

That got me thinking... "This club is in real danger of being cancelled for good..." then "What can I do to help!?".   Being the internet lover that I am, I firstly thought... the internet and social media networking!  So whilst Daniel was playing at the club, and having a great time (as always!) I hit the internet hard.

I've contacted the local press, a local news website who is also on Twitter, and on my friends list.  I've posted it on that news websites Facebook wall too, and he has kindly replied at what a great loss this club would be if it were cancelled etc.  Thanks Marc!  I've also posted the information on my own twitter and facebook wall, as well as the facebook walls of our local radio station and city facebook page.

When I returned to collect Daniel, I mentioned the poor numbers and what a shame it was to the workers there.  One of them said to me, "We sent out leaflets to the schools before we started the sessions, there's really not much else we can do, but it's a real shame that the numbers aren't higher".  She also said that they were thinking the club should perhaps just be a winter one, as maybe they would get more numbers then...  

I then spoke with the two people there about what I had done.  They were really pleased that I had taken it upon myself to promote the clubs.   I also said that if my son hadn't reminded me of the clubs I would have totally forgotten all about it, and that life just gets in the way and you forget things, and that I bet a lot of parents had already forgotten this club was in existance... that I was hoping by getting it some more publicity it would help get the numbers back up to what they were the first month!

So here's hoping... I've got my fingers crossed!

My son loves the groups... he's taken much more interest in books and reading now, as well as arts and crafts and making things.  Here's a picture of him painting stones!  Much better for him than sitting around playing the wii...


To get children out there socialising with others, experiencing the joys of dance and drama as well as arts and crafts, tearing them away from the computer consoles our children love so much... it can only be a good thing.  To have it go down the pan from lack of publicity would be a travesty!

So I've taken some of it on... and as Tesco say... "Every little helps!", and you know what.. I feel better from having done something about it...

Here's the link I've been sharing about that tells you about the projects etc:

L x

Friday, 21 May 2010

Friendships... Photo Booths!


* Friendship *


   

Me and my bonkers friend Sarah... 
I love our friendship!

We met back on our first day at nursing university.  She's as insane as I am, but I think she's actually overtaken me in the bonkers state now... something we spoke about yesterday in fact!

She does THE most impressive burps you'll ever hear from a woman.  Fact!

I call her Sarah Star.  This is 'cause back at Uni in our wee "gang" of six that were friends there were two Sarah's, two Louise's and a Joanne and a Jenna!  We forever had to distinguish between the two Sarah's but in the early days we'd forget the surnames... so Sarah was working at Starbucks at the time and the other Sarah in Schuh.  So they became Sarah Star and Sarah Schuh... and the names have stuck!  For me, I got called "Wee Lou", "Wee One" and "Wee Man" (!), and the other Louise was Big Lou.   I'm short ya see - hence the internet name WeeWifie, and the other Louise was very tall!

I love my Sarah Star.  She is a star to me.

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This is me and my boyfriend Iain... 

We started off as work colleague friends.  Have such similar humour, we can have such a laugh!  We've been together for just under three and a half years now.

This is us just mucking about one night for "shits and giggles".

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These pictures were all taken on the iPhone app "Photo Booth Classic Plus".  You can find it in the app store at a cost of £1.19.  

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This post was for the extremely fun "The Gallery" photographic workshop started by Tara over at her blog Sticky Fingers.



Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Self-Portrait


Me at work... and after a mess about on the iPhone Photoshop app!




Me all ready to go see New Moon for the first time in the cinema earlier this year!




Wearing my Edward New Moon t-shirt that my boyfriend bought for me haha.







So there you go!  A variety of recent self-portrait pics of me!

You don't wanna see one of me right now as I've got a skin reaction on my face!  Yuck!  

L x

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This post was for The Gallery.

The prompt was "self-portrait".

Check it out by clicking below!



Karma is a bitch...

Karma.  It well and truly got me the other day...

I do not like eyes.  They make me queasy.

I was at work, as a nurse in operating theatres when there was an eye case on the operating list.  It was the beginning of the shift and we were discussing who would scrub for each case.  I mentioned my eye phobia (which is kinda a strong word for what it is), to the team leader and said I really didn't think I should be in the theatre during that case as felt queasy just thinking about it, and that I may actually pass out as just can't deal with the idea of something being in an eye.

As you can tell with my photograph - I wear glasses.  No contact lenses for me no thank you!!

Okay, a bit of background to my eye fears... I once had to run away from a patient in the anaesthetic room.  I had to dash back into theatre, as they went to take out contact lenses in front of me without warning!  Oh I felt so queasy and horrible... though the patient, anaethetist and surgeon all thought it extremely funny!  Humph.  To those contact lense wearers out there... please... give warning to others before you start poking your fingers in your eyeballs!

So it was agreed I would not be in theatre during the eye case, and the fellow nurses made a few jokey but nice comments on my eye thing!

Well wouldn't karma come and strike me down later that shift!!!

I went to go and immerse a specimen in formalin which is a formaldehyde solution we use to preserve the specimens for histology.  I was wearing all my personal protection equipment as stated in policy (and common sense land I guess!  Ya know... goggles, mask, the works) and some formalin still managed to bounce up and over my mask and right into my right eye!!

Shit.  It's toxic.

I have to run to A+E to clerk in but told it's a few hours wait (what!?), well it's a good job I work in a hospital huh!  I came straight back to theatre and the colleagues who took the mick outta me for my eye issues, then had to sit me in the anaethetist chair and use a giving set to irrigate my eye with a litre of saline!  Yep... they had to hold open my eye and pour tons of saline into it.  It was quite funny though, as they were soaking me to the skin!   It helped me not freak out as much... though in the middle I couldn't breathe properly as saline was going from my eye down the back of my nose and throat (all connected in there lol) and I did tell them I couldn't breathe but they thought it was me just freaking out and carried on so I had to jolt upright and knocked the kidney dish that was collecting the saline after it was going from my eye... all over me!   It's a good job I was on call that night and had more underwear with me as it didn't just soak my scrubs!

So I waited up in theatre, eye sore til I got called to A+E nearly 4 hours later.  The doctor down there wanted me to put two drops of anaesthetic stuff into my eye... err... I had to tell her there was no chance I was putting something into my own eye!!  Damn.  Now this doctor knows my eye issues...  and has to break the news to me that they need to put a PH strip onto my eye!!  Oh shit... one minute they're talking to me like a fellow professional, the next they're speaking to me like someone with a phobia... telling me to just concentrate on the Tiger on the wall... and I felt like a child.  That PH strip going on my eye was awful, just thinking about it again now is making me imagine it in my eye again *shudders*.   They the doctor tells me they are going to put a drop into my eye that will make my eye orange!  What another drop?!  Are we not done yet?!  Damn!  So I endure that too... and she examines my eye and tells me it is irritated but there's no damage.  Thank goodness for that!!  That cheered me up no end... until she said she was then needing to put another two drops of the anaesthetic drops into my eye again!  I honestly thought it would never end... but thankfully that was the final time something foreign was going in my eye!

This is my eye afterwards...


The yellowy stuff is the coloured dye the doctor put in my eye working its way out of it.  The redness is because I'm currently having face skin problems due to the theatre masks!  It was pretty well moisturised and covered in foundation til my saline shower washed it all off and dried my face up making it temporarily flare up really bad lol!

The main thing is that my eye is okay, and so I am lucky it all turned out well.  I only had to deal with a subsequent day and half or so of eye pain til it dulled off to just a slight irritation.

However, the eye case did not even go ahead!

Karma.

Bah!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Secret Post Club - April

For those not in the know, Heather over at Notes from Lapland runs an awesome Secret Post Club for bloggers to swap gifts, like a "Secret Santa" type thing once a month!


Last month I decided to join this fantastic club!  It sounded like such fun... who doesn't love receiving presents!?

So last month I got my first ever parcel from the lovely Sarah aka Blissbubbley!  Sarah is someone I already followed on Twitter and her blog, and it was kinda nice having my first sender be a familiar face so to speak!



Sarah used my Day Zero Project as her inspiration for my package.  The project is to list 101 things you'd like to do and you have 1001 days to achieve them!

I have a lovely photography album now for storing photos of the events as I do them for my Day Zero Project.  Two balloons for Daniel and I to blow up, tie a note to and set them free in the wind... something I've always fancied doing!  There is also a hair magazine as I really want to have my hair re-styled and coloured.  I've used this already for inspiration on different ways to style my hair.  However I currently can't have it cut and dyed as I've developed severe psoriasis of the scalp in the last month or two!  I'm currently trialling my 3rd different treatment, so am hoping it's third time lucky and it clears the psoriasis up, then I'm gonna get the chop!!

Thank you Sarah!!  I loved the thoughtfulness that went into my package!

I'll let you know when I've done the balloon post... I'm sure there will be a blog on that - with photographs!

L x

More or Less...

I have a confession.  It's been several weeks now since my last Writing Workshop post.  I am sorry.  I truly am. I will admit I've looked at the prompts, but nothing has really grabbed me lately... I've not been able to think of what to write about for the prompts, or been unable to, as I feel I cannot write freely because of various reasons.  So I'm back now, with this weeks prompt of 

"5. What do you need to do more of? What do you need to do less of?"


It takes about 5 seconds upon walking into my house for outsiders to tell what I need to do more of, and that is cleaning, tidying and organising!!  What I need to do less of is definately hoarding - that one is right there up at the top!!

I'm messy.  I've always been messy.  You can ask my parents (actually Dad pops by my blog so Dad, I'm sorry for the messy room over the years!).  I was a messy child, an even messier teenager, and I'm now a messy adult.  I have messy in my DNA.

My son is messy too... but I don't know if that's nature or nurture to be honest!  It is probably both, as afterall my Dad was very tidy and we used to have to have massive "cleaning days" where it was all hands on deck for hours on end (or it FELT like that when I was a child!).  I detested those days when Dad decided it was time for a huge clean.  I still grew up messy though!  So poor Daniel has a messy mother and probable messy DNA.  His room is always like a bomb-site too!  He's only 6!  I dread to think what it'll be like when he is a teenager.  However, unlike my parents I don't think I'll care too much, being messy myself, as long as he keeps his mess to his room, then I don't need to see it do I?  I used to say that to my own folks as a teenager... that if it was my room, what was it to them that it was messy?  They didn't have to look at it.  I did and I was happy to live not seeing the carpet, so why couldn't they?

I'm 28 by the way.  I just realised writing that, I'm sounding very much like a teenager.  I think it comes down to that in many ways I still feel like a teenager.

So... back to the topic.  I need to spend more time cleaning!  I used to live by the rule of  "A clean home is a sign of a wasted life".  In fact I had a mug that had this on it.  Was gutted when the handle snapped off it.   However when my house is tidier, I'm happier.  I've finally made that connection.  

Out with my old motto and in with my new one - "A clean home is the sign of a happy mind".

So I need to keep up this cleaning thing.  I've finally found what works for me - loud music and Twitter lol.   Yes!  That is my key!  I've also found that after my driving lesson I'm naturally charged up and buzzing, and this is a good time to clean.  So loud music I can sing along to or dance about the house to, and Twitter on the computer screen to tweet away now and then so it's not "all work and no play".  I thought it would distract me, but it doesn't, it works as a way to reward myself... I'll think "okay, finish this lot of dishes then you can check your Twitter Louise!".  

I also really want to get a cleaner in. It's something I've said I've wanted since I was a nursing student doing full time university, whilst also a single Mum, and working part time at Tesco, and tons of coursework and assignments!   However now I'm earning it could be a reality.  It's also keeping me focused.  If I can get this place really clean and tidy and organised I'll get a cleaner in.  I actually think getting a cleaner in once a week or so, would give me more incentive to keep it tidier... after all, I'd not want someone coming into a huge amount of untidiness!!

Hah!  

I was addicted to internet shopping... it stemmed from being stuck in the house not being able to get out, and it was a good "lift" to shop online for bargains.  However, a lot of this was basically clutter!  I also bought a lot of clothes and shoes that either never fit or didn't suit me but I never ever returned!  What a waste of cash, even if they are a bargain!  However last year I gave all this excess stuff to my brother and sister-in-law to get rid of for me at a car boot sale and got them to keep the cash.  I just wanted RID of it!  It was piled up against all the walls of my bedroom!!  Yes, that bad.   

Last year I really started having a huge clear out of things, like all my old school stuff... did I really need all my school work I ever did?  No.  Did I need all my old Nancy Drew books?  No.  I gave them away to a friends young teenage sister, who is immensely enjoying the books I grew up reading and loving.  I've passed the torch on.

Now when I shop online, I only buy things I will definately use like books, I love to read.  Clothes I buy online must be from shops where there is a store in my town so I can return them to store, or offer free returns via the post. 

I still buy things online, however it's mainly gifts now!  I've started my Christmas shopping already.  When I get the urge to internet shop - I buy presents!  Birthday presents and Christmas presents.  I have a Word document to keep up with my purchases.

I'm getting there...

I'm nearly 30, and I'm getting there... out of the teenage mindset! ;)

L x

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Honest Scrap!


Thank you to Livi for tagging me for this blog post!


The deal with this one is to tell 10 honest things about me so here goes!






1.  When I was younger, back in primary school, I thought by this stage in my life I'd be happily married with a house and garden and on my way to having a family with 4 children!  Currently, I'm a single mum of a 6 year old boy with about 75% certainty that I do not want any more children.  Funny how things just don't turn out how you think as a child.

2.  I'm a domestic UN-godess...  I detest housework!  I'm messy and cluttersome, and therefore the house hasn't ever been REALLY tidy.  Ever.  Actually it's usually quite messy!  Since we moved in here 4 years ago to this new build!

3.  I use a spreadsheet for my bills!  This became vital to survival when I became a single mum just a few months into my student nurse training!

4.  I'm gonna be an Auntie again soon!  Became one for the first time to Molly last February, and her parents - my brother and sister-in-law - are due another baby next weekend!

5.  I was bridesmaid twice last year, and those were the "first times" doing it.  Firstly for my brother and sister in law, and then for my mum and her new husband.

6.  I worked at Tesco supermarket for just under 11 years!  Started there when I was 16.  Did about a year and half on checkouts then transferred to the Petrol Filling Station for the remainder of my time there.

7.  I LOVE crisps.  Those are my downfall when it comes to trying to eat healthier (which I've been trying to last couple of months!) ... Mmmmm crisps!

8.  I can hulahoop, and very well too!!  I have a professional hula hoop and a "dance hoop" exercise DVD.

9.  I have a fear of flying, that I need to take diazepam for.  Believe me, it's required! Last time I tried to not take it and fly I ended up a wreck demanding to know how many years the pilot had flown for, and how many of those times had been in the rain!!  It was raining at the time, and I'd never flown in the rain before...

10.  I love energy drinks!!  Tesco Kick (or Kx as it's now called!) used to be my firm favourite, but now it's Relentless - especially the Inferno flavour, then the Origins one.  I don't drink these nowhere near as much as I used to.  Trying to be good!  Wish they did a diet version of Relentless though... have you SEEN the sugar content on those?!

L xXx

Tagging Time...!


Let me know if you want a good tagging ;) hehe

Friday, 7 May 2010

The male in my life


This is my boy on his first day of school in September 2009.  He's six, and could've started the year before, but I chose to have him start when he was six.  It was such a big day for him!  He was looking forward to it for months before hand... so eager to be a big boy!  

That day was big for me too... another milestone passed with no major complications having arised as a result of Daniel's Occult Spinal Dysraphism - the rare neurological disorder that he was born with.

It was so strange when the realisation hit me - I had a child in Primary School...!??

There is just me and the wee man living in this house.  The male in my life.  My one consistent.  There will always be "Louise and Daniel".

with love from 

Louise and Daniel
;)

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This post was for The Gallery.  Week 11.
The theme was "men".

Click The Gallery below to go check it out!