Thursday, 28 April 2011

She's baaaaack!!

She's been back for over a week actually, I just haven't got round to blogging.

We had a nice relaxed easter weekend. Staying on track with my new healthy living attitude I did not consume the usual amount of chocolate, I just had one Moo Free egg, and some Montezuma's mini eggs. A did alright for chocolate, but she didn't get an egg from me. I got her a laptop for Easter. Just slightly extravagent, and I'm still not sure that particular moment of online purchasing madness was a good idea, but needless to say she is delighted.
I have to confess a (big) element of self interest here though. I bought MY laptop ostensibly for work purposes, but since our old desktop has become increasingly less reliable, and since A seems to want to spend every waking moment on facebook (another dubious decision - letting her loose on facebook), I was being constantly hassled for use of the laptop.

I have signed A up for a new essay-writing course, which looks interesting. I think its pitched at just the right level for her, so we're both looking forward to seeing how that works out. We've not got back into maths since our easter break, in fact we've not done much of anything 'formal' - the weather has been far too good (you have to make the most of it when it happens up here!) but there have been lots of activities and trips. Today, after skating, she went off to the Spey Bay Wildlife Centre with friends and has just phoned to tell me they saw some dolphins.

I'm feeling very energised and really enjoying my gym visits (going about 3 times a week) and walks in the sunshine. It doesn't seem to have made much of an impact on my mental state though. In the early hours of this morning, for some reason, I became convinced someone was breaking into my house. I stood at the top of the stairs and was sure I could smell cigarettes (I don't smoke), so I took to wandering around the house with a hammer in my hand. Not sure how much use a hammer would be against an axe murderer, but I suppose its better than nothing.
I should point out that pacing the house like a guard dog in the middle of the night is not something I do on a regular basis. However, 12-3am does seem to be my alloted anxiety time, when all my worries and fears come out to play, and repeatedly punch me in the face. This is a pattern that has emerged over the last few years. I've tried different tactics to deal with it: reading; breathing techniques; visualisation; relaxation CDs - but nothing seems to work. It seems as though the anxieties are there, and have a need to express themselves.

A has decided she wants to watch 'the wedding' tomorrow, I'm not happy, I've been trying very hard to block it all out. She argues that it will be educational. Really?? I wont stop her watching it, but I think a session on the French Revolution is required soon.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Two blog posts in one week -

Whats going on???? You can tell I am child free at the moment :-)

Since the beginning of the year I've been trying to be a bit more active. My main aim is to improve my general fitness level, if I should lose a few pounds (or a couple of stones) along the way that would be fabulous, but my motivation is mostly to do with health.

I've been getting out walking more, especially in this spring weather. The beach is my favourite, and it was so hot at the weekend that there were quite a few people in the sea (this is the foot-numbing North Sea we're talking about!).

This morning I did the river loop - probably about 2 miles. Its a beautiful, quiet walk, with just the occasional dog walker or cyclist to say 'hello' to.

I was going to Bhangra dance classes too, which were fun at first, but the novelty has worn off a bit now. I'm getting fed up with watching myself prance about (in a very undignified manner) in the massive mirrored wall of the dance studio. I watch the teacher, I do exactly what she's doing, but for some reason when I catch sight of myself my body seems to be behaving like a drunken panda.

I was also going to a boxercise class, which I absolutely LOVED!! But unfortunately its changing nights and now clashes with Italian class, so no more boxing :-(

So - to keep up some kind of fitness regime I decided to rejoin the gym, and A has said she wants to join too now she's old enough. I went for my induction the other day, and was taken round by what looked to me like a 14-year-old boy. I think I must be getting old. But I'm looking forward to getting back into working out - I used to go quite regularly when I was studying for my degree and A was at school, and I really used to enjoy it. It will be even better now we can have family trips to the gym together.

A seems to be having a great time down south. We had a slightly disastrous (also quite hilarious) skype session at the weekend - half the time she couldn't hear me, and apparently the rest of the time I was shouting at her. Since then we have stuck to messaging on facebook, she even got me on 'chat' which I hate.

The website is coming along nicely, and I've just heard that I have an article going into the June/July issue of Green Parent magazine - very exciting :-)

Sunday, 10 April 2011


Seeing as my daughter has gone AWOL down to Southampton with her Granny, leaving me to slave over a hot computer, I thought I would write a bit about how thats going.

So, its coming up to 18 months since I went self employed. I hadn't realised that until I just worked it out, it still feels all new. There are lots of things I love about it:

  • I love that it can fit in with HE - for example I get loads of bits and pieces done in the car waiting for A to have her guitar lesson, just scribbling away in a notebook.

  • I love the flexibility it affords - working til 2 in the morning if I choose, then having a lie in and spending the day with A.

  • Being an unsociable git, I love that I can work away all alone, and when I do need to interact with people its mainly done by email.

  • I love having control over what I do.

  • I love that I don't have to answer to a manager
The one thing I don't love is the lack of money coming in at the moment!!

I have a website now, although it still needs some work, and I need to put all my energies into promoting my services.

All the stuff in the news about 'Universal Credit' and how it will affect the self employed has scared me a bit (they seem to be saying self employed people should be making at least the equivalent of minimum wage for the hours they are doing - not sure over what period this would be assessed, but I'm certainly not there yet!!). I rely very much on my Working Tax Credits, and also on some Housing Benefit for my rent, so if I cant make this work and build up a bigger client base I will have to rethink the whole thing.

There's a big supermarket due to open in my town later this year, I'm already thinking about trying to get some hours that will be back to working with loads of people, for a manager, within a huge corporation - hmmmm. It would also probably mean leaving A on her own a lot more, which I'm not too happy about. She's at an age now where she's a bit too old for childminders/babysitters (even if I could find one for during school hours!), but I still don't feel comfortable about leaving her alone for too long.

I think for now I will just focus on making the self employment work, and try not to think too much about having to go back to the hell of a job I hate! And despite all the stress of money worries, I am acutely aware of the fact that compared to the vast majority of people on this planet I am very, very wealthy. Need to keep reminding myself of that.

I really do need to get hold of a new camera - this blog is looking very boring without any pics!