Friday, 30 October 2009


Sometimes I feel that I have so much love to give, yet no one to receive it.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

More Tea Vicar?....

I have always known my friend Alison was the daughter of a Methodist Minister but in my ignorance to all things religious I had pictured her dad to be a non dog collar wearing, long haired, hippie type who possibly shouted for all to "praise the lord" at regular intervals...... How wrong I was.

A few days ago during one of my spontaneous moments, I arranged to visit Alison and motivate her to find a job after her recent return from Ghana.....

At first I giggled to myself when Alison introduced me to her mum for the first time "This is my mother" she said, "Teresa" but when her father arrived fresh from a funeral, looking surprisingly very like a vicar, complete with dog collar.....I realised immediately I had entered an alternate universe. As he politely introduced himself and tried to recall whether he already knew about my arrival and had forgotten, I heard my mum's voice as clear as day telling me to "Behave, don't you dare show me up!" and found myself standing up a little bit straighter and being a little bit more polite than usual. To my relief he told Alison he was off to get changed......There I was hoping that like me, when he got home from work he took his uniform off in favour of something more comfortable......I was partly right......On his return he had amusingly slipped into a big woolly jumper.....Over his dog collar.....A true man of the cloth if ever I saw one!

On discussion with Mother Teresa, Alison and I innocently decided to visit the local glass factory. However, as the Vicars daughter and I wondered around the factory her dirty mind surprised me and provided moments of laughter.......

Firstly there was this....

For those who don't know why this is funny....
Click here

Then there was this........

For those who don't know why this is funny....Click here

On our return to Alison's house Mother Teresa asked if I wanted to stay for tea, I immediately felt like a kid again, said thank you for the invitation and played upstairs with Alison until tea was ready.....

Dreading that they would know I never say grace, I told myself not to say anything bad or offensive while we ate. As I plucked up the courage to join in the conversation, I began to tell a work story and suddenly there it was......Spoken before the words could be stopped..... "Yeah" I said, "They were like, for God's Sake".........Well done!......Blasphemy, while having tea with a Vicar! Typical!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Becca, Are we lost?...

My friend Becca and I should really stop trying to be spontaneous, It NEVER works.....We always end up having that conversation....You know the One.... "What do you wanna do?" Silence, followed by a response of "I don't know, what do you wanna do?"

We have had a few disastrous "Day trips" recently.....

We planned a trip to Tatton Park, the idea being we would take in the country air and rent bikes to cycle somewhere.....What actually occurred was
lazing by a lake watching the planes fly over head, getting lost on a country path and the random purchase of cheese from a farm shop.

We tried to go and watch Justin Lee Colins at Granada Studio's, following the collection of another friend we proceeded to get lost with the help of Sat Nav. So instead we ended up playing pool and shooting virtual cows in an amusement arcade, only to be repeatedly told "You shot a cow!".....Did I mention we are both 28 years old?

Today, it was sunny for once, so I text Becca (I should have known) we attempted to arrange a day out of the city. It would have been a good plan if it wasn't 3pm by the time we left her flat....Following considerable irritation on Becca's part at an unnecessary lorry that inconvenientely drove slowly right in front of us the whole way, we gave up on our plan to visit the Hope Valley and stopped at a random English Country Pub that was unnervingly empty...

After being stared at my the locals for "not being from around h
ere" Becca placed herself conveniently in front of the open fire, declaring loudly "I'm cold" only to have the local hunchback immediately scurry over from some hidden part of the pub with logs for the fire....

On a plus side and obviously in a none pervy way, we watched as the local "fit young bloke", proceeded to chop wood for us in very masculine fashion place them on the fire and smiling as he did so........Following brief consideration we decided to stay of tea.....It was only fair......

Naturally we got lost on the way home and found ourselves in Chinley Village. Being city girls we found it highly amusing that the local teenagers were attempting to intimidate the locals with their hoodies and a park bench......We immediately dubbed them the Chinley Massive and laughed at the fact that we should make a Chinley Massive facebook group in honour of our trip.

A few hours after I got home and forgetting about our Chinley Massive adventure, I logged on to facebook.....There it was, an invitation from Becca to the
Chinley Countryside Massive facebook group it actually exists! Priceless! ;-)

The African Adventure

For all my friends who keep asking me where I will be around Christmas this year, here is my itinerary for the Africa section.

Day 1 Nairobi (21st November 2009)

Prepare for an epic adventure.

Day 2 Lake Nakuru

Pitch in at the Kariandusi School Community Project and explore flamingo-filled Lake Nakuru.

Days 3-4 Eldoret/ Kampala

Camp in Kenya's green highlands.

Days 5-6 Kibale Forest National Park

Look out for playful chimpanzees gorging on figs. Hike beneath trees and listen out for the sound of overhead monkeys.

Day 7 Queen Elizabeth National Park

Try and spot hippos and fish eagles while cruising the Kazinga Channel.

Day 8 Lake Bunyonyi

Swim in the glistening lake or explore the waters in a dugout canoe.

Days 9-11 Gorilla Trek

Spend a magical hour with wild mountain gorillas.

Day 12 Lake Mburo

Walk through secluded acacia woods to spy antelope, crocodiles and waterbirds.

Days 13-14 Jinja

Camp at an exclusive riverside retreat near Bujagali Falls.

Days 15-16 Eldoret/ Nairobi

Visit Kenya's cheese capital.

Days 17-18 Mto Wa Mbu/ Karatu

Tour a Tanzanian village for a glimpse of farming life.

Days 19-20 Serengeti National Park

These legendary grasslands are a haven for the Big Five.

Day 21 Ngorongoro Crater/ Karatu

Photograph a wealth of wildlife in Africa's 'Garden of Eden'.

Day 22 Marangu

Visit a home for street kids. Experience Chagga village life on Kilimanjaro's slopes.

Days 23-24 Usambara Mountains

Meet friendly villagers and wander pristine forests in the Usambara Mountains.

Day 25 Dar es Salaam

Welcome to Tanzania's tropical port city.

Days 26-28 Zanzibar

Be enticed by spice plantations, cobbled bazaars and palm-fringed beaches.

Day 29 Dar es Salaam

Return to an idyllic beachside camp.

Days 30-31 Iringa/ Chitimba

Try to spot elephants, buffaloe and giraffes in Mikumi National Park's woodlands.

Days 32-33 Lake Malawi

Relax by this enormous, fish-filled lake.

Days 34-35 Luwawa Forest Lodge

(Christmas day)

Discover welcoming villages in the remote forests of Malawi's Viphya Mountains.

Days 36-37 Chipata/ Lusaka

Cross the Luanga River into Zambia.

Days 38-40 Livingstone/ Victoria Falls

Thrill to thunderous spray from one of the world's mightiest waterfalls.

Days 41-42 Chobe National Park

(New Years Eve)

Enjoy a rewarding Chobe River safari. Try to spot hippos, crocodiles and paddling elephants in the river's waters.

Days 43 Bagani Community Camp

Recharge in Namibia's peaceful Caprivi Strip.

Days 44-45 Okavango Delta

Ride a pole-propelled mokoro through lily-filled streams.

Days 46-48 San Bushmen Camp/ Gootfontein

Go tracking and gathering with the San Bushmen, who've lived in harmony with the desert for around 20,000 years.

Days 49-50 Etosha National Park

Nocturnal animals are easy to spot by the floodlit waterhole.

Days 51-52 Spitzkoppe

Experience awe among the beautiful rock formations decorated with ancient San paintings.

Days 53-54 Swakopmund

Admire olive-coloured Cape Cross seals. Get adventurous in an old German colonial town.

Days 55-56 Sesriem/ Sossusvlei

Scramble to the top of Namib Desert dunes. Soak up breathtaking sunrise views over a vast sandy sea.

Day 57 Fish River Canyon

Inspect iconic quiver trees and enjoy sunset panoramas over this enormous canyon.

Days 58-59 Orange River/ Western Cape

Relax by the Orange River's banks or choose a canoeing adventure downstream.

Day 60 Cape Town (19th January 2010)

This epic journey ends amid Cape Town's vineyards, townships and modern cityscape.

Next explore the Garden Route until the 3rd Feb, then Bangkok and Asia!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Sunday Quote

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles ~ Christopher Reeve.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


When I was little I had an obsession with the cartoon The Little Mermaid.......I can still watch it and tell you all the words from start to finish! Yesterday a couple of friends and I went to watch "Up" the latest offering from Disney and Pixar.....I fell in love all over again! You have to watch it! It is poignant but hilarious......Here's to living your dreams while you still can!....Go see it!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Sunday Quote

True strength of character is the ability to overcome resentment against others, to hide hurt feelings and forgive quickly.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Help! Its Swine Flu!!!

Nothing annoys me more than bad journalism, especially when it is in relation to the NHS. Maybe I have a one sided view?.... Yes there is some very bad practice. Yes, there are many faults and improvements that need to be made but why is it that you never hear anything good? We work so bloody hard! Why is it that you never get any thanks?

So today when I read this article "Swine Flu Kills 'Fit and Healthy' Woman" in my local paper it got my blood boiling and I wrote My first official complaint letter!......

(Interestingly this picture was removed from the Internet article!)

The picture in your article of the Coroners report is quite clear in the information that it gives in relation to this ladies death. Sad as it was, it is clearly documented as pulmonary embolus complicated by swine flu, not swine flu itself.

As stated on the NHS website regarding swine flu “For most people, the illness is mild and self-limiting. The virus has caused severe illness in a minority of people, most of whom had an existing serious condition.” Therefore your Headline "Swine flu kills 'fit and healthy ' woman" is incorrect.

As a medical professional I would like to point out that if you had effectively researched Pulmonary Embolism prior to publication of your article you would have easily discovered that Pulmonary Embolus can cause sudden death in previously healthy individuals of all ages. Also individuals who have been on long haul flights and take the contraceptive pill (as this lady possibly did) are at a higher risk of developing this condition. However, the article published in today’s paper does not at any point reflect this.

I feel that it is journalist’s responsibility to present an accurate and objective account of the situation. However, this articles miss information is the reason numerous anxious individuals with the common cold will undoubtedly present in our local Accident & Emergency department causing a back log on already stretched service.

I feel as a Newspaper that distributed throughout the city that the Manchester Evening News has been irresponsible in its publication of this article and has therefore unhelpfully contributed to public panic in relation to swine flu. Yes the death of such a young lady was sad, but surely it would have been more helpful to advise people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek medical advice, not anyone with flu like symptoms.

Finally let me ask you this....How would you feel if you or a sick relative were made to wait hours to see a doctor who was already tied up dealing with a hundred people with the incurable common cold?

Rant over.

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Sunday, 4 October 2009

Shihoko, My Friend.

Last night I decided to look through the box I keep under my bed of tokens from my childhood......I hadn't thought about her for years and suddenly there she was, in the picture like it was only yesterday....Shihoko, My friend.

When I was ten a family from Japan moved into my street, their arrival sparked an interest in the local children mainly because of Shihoko, their daughter. She was little and shy, sweet natured and kind, interesting and different. Shihoko's father was working at the local University and Shihoko was put into my class at the local school. My teacher thought I should be the one to help her with her English and it was arranged with our parents that I would help her after school. Despite the language barrier and with the enthusiasm of ten year olds we found a common love of my little ponies, barbie and my grandmother's pet dogs and we quickly became inseparable. I remember how she would make me origami swans and frogs that could leap in the air as a token of friendship and how we would giggle for hours playing with them.

I vividly recall how clever she was
and how impressed I was at the speed she acquired a completely new language. Only now as an adult, do I see how difficult this must have been for her and how alienated she must have felt. I remember how fascinated I was by her family, who were so different from my own. I remember how dignified and respectful we were. I smile as I remember my surprise at the way they would sit on the floor to eat.

Then six months after she arrived
she left, her father had completed his work and they returned to Japan. I missed her at first, she would write to me, but I didn't write back...I regret that now. As I look at the cards she sent me all those years ago, I am fascinated by how beautiful they are. They feel like silk, the art work is so detailed and the effort that must have gone into her writing them intrigues me. How they were wasted on a ten year old.

I wonder how her life turned out? I bet she learnt English fluently and in a way the would put my Japanese to shame.
I will probably never see her again, but I hope she is happy, maybe I should write to her after all?

The Sunday Quote

You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. ~Alan Alda

Friday, 2 October 2009

Future Me....

Sunlight *, originally uploaded by [Zakkalicious / Mikael].

Who am I?

Recently I have been thinking about who I am...and more to the point who I want to be..... I keep hearing this person fact, moaning. Mostly about negative stuff, like about how men don't like her, about how she is overweight, how she is miserable at work, how she is sick of most of her work mates incompetence bla bla bla.

I keep feeling the emotions of someone who is angry at everyone for her dissatisfaction with life, someone who is nervous about the future and scared of the unknown. I want to tell her to stop moaning; does she not have anything good to say? Can she not see the bright side? Then suddenly I walk past a mirror and see this red faced individual, in the worse NHS uniform in the west, someone who needs her hair cutting, someone who everyone else is avoiding or sniggering at....Oh No, It’s me!

The thing is the person I want to be I keep locked inside, the happy, positive, kind, loving, outgoing, confident, bohemian me. I have this picture in my mind of another me in a parallel universe.......She is in the countryside or in a park, wearing a summer dress and sunglasses, long hair flying everywhere, going somewhere on a bicycle with a wicker basket on the front filled with flowers, she a smiling, she says nice things about people, she is content, she is bohemian, she is happy, she is me!.....

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