Tuesday, 29 January 2013

New Years Resolution No.1: Must update my blog more regularly!!

29th Jan 2013:
Right, I’m trying to get this post in before the end of January and, as I have only 3 days and I’m bound to be distracted, I thought I’d better get it done! :/

I missed out posting in December so sorry about that to all my avid blog readers (all one of them – shout out to the follower who goes by numerous names!!!!) but lots happened in December at work and it’s always a busy time for me so it was hard to find the time!! I promise to try harder this year!

So, I survived the chaos that it Xmas… I still refuse to write Christmas as it features the word Christ and I sort of gave up on all that believing stuff after watching our wonderful, funny, bubbly, hilarious neighbour being carried out in a black bag after succumbing to prostate cancer only 6 months after retiring at the age of 66 – sorry to those of you who are religious but give me a reason to believe and I might come back!! Bit of a depressing start... soz!!

December was a crazy month filled with trying to get my 2nd years UCAS applications finished and coming to the end of Semester 1 units. I think it was a successful end to the year in general. All the students get stressed coming up to deadlines and especially summative assessment but they dealt with it relatively well and everyone got their work in on time and we had a great day of games and silliness on the last day of term!!

We had good news for the department again when Sarah Gaw made it to the final of the Clothes Show Live Designer of the Year competition. Emulating the success of Charlotte Wood last year, she beat 55,000 entries to make it to the final 10. We all traipsed down to Birmingham NEC again (in the freezing cold!) to support her. Sadly, she didn’t win but her dress was without doubt the most impressive on the catwalk – not biased at all!! ;)

Sadly, December also brought some tragic news. A very good friend of mine, Mark Bambrick, was killed after being hit by a lorry on the A1 the week before Xmas. We still don’t know the full story as the inquest hasn’t concluded yet but Mark was an amazing friend, he was funny and had time for absolutely everyone he met. He will be sorely missed. RIP Fairy! :(

Xmas Day was a very different affair for me this year. For as long as I can remember it has been spent with more or less the whole family (apart from 2010 when I needed to do something different and spent it in Manchester will some brilliant people!).

My sisters have all got young kids now so it was decided that my folks would come to mine – arrrgggh!! At the grand old age of 41 I was finally going to host my first Xmas!!! I was quite excited at the prospect and in the end there was 6 of us and we had a great day!!

It was slightly weird not being with my sisters but I think it worked out better as I think Xmas can be a very stressful time for a lot of families! I always loved it growing up but the sparkle waned as I grew up as it just seemed like a lot of work. My honest opinion is that there is way too much pressure on people to get things ‘just right’. Really, it’s just another day, but one which you should spend with your loved ones and be able to chill out! I think there was more of an opportunity for us to do that this time round and I was please with how the flat looked… very Xmassy!!! :)

I got some cool presents but the best had to be one I received earlier on in the season; tickets to go and see the stage production of Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds; The New Generation. This always remains close to my heart as I was brought up listening to it as my Dad adored it! The rest of my family were terrified by the music but Dad and I always stuck it on the tape deck on journey’s to see my Grandparents in St Helens! We thought no one else would notice as they were asleep in the back of the car but a voice always piped up ‘Get that off, I’m scared!!’ 

It was truly amazing!

One final thing about Xmas… I really missed my lovely Gran being around but we toasted her and I’ll never forget her! Love you Grandma! xx

Actually, I always like getting Xmas out of the way so that the countdown to New Year begins!! This is without a doubt, my favourite time of year!! It was also my 21st Hogmanay that I would be spending in Edinburgh so it was extra special!!

My avid blog follower(!) accompanied me as part of the Spice group and we had a fantastic time!! I can’t recommend what Jamie of Spice Scotland does more, but he really works hard to ensure everyone has a brilliant time!!

We did so much in a couple of days including the Torchlight Procession on the ‘Night Afore’ – I’m still picking wax off my clothes!

Then on NYE day we went ice skating down in the gardens – laugh a minute and ended up joining in a mass ceilidh session at the Museum of Scotland which was also brilliant!

We had a great meal at Merchants but the concert in the gardens is always the highlight of the trip and this again, didn’t disappoint! The View kicked off the celebrations and then we were treated to an amazing show by Simple Minds who really haven’t lost it!! I was practically hoarse after they belted out Alive and Kicking!!! Well done boys!!

An amazing end to 2012 with the best people!! :)

Unfortunately 2013 hasn’t started off in the best way possible!!

I woke up on New Years Day feeling pretty shocking… it could have been a hangover but I knew I hadn’t gone mad and it felt different!!

It was the start of a nasty virus, which has caused me to be off work since the beginning of the year! I unfortunately missed Mark’s funeral because of it, which was incredibly upsetting but I was really poorly &n ended up calling the paramedics out as I was struggling to breathe!! It turned out I had mild pneumonia so was put on antibiotics! I was well enough to return to work for 2 days but then everything went crazy!!

I woke up one morning and couldn’t see properly, everything was spinning like mad and as soon as I moved my head I was sick! I called my sis in tears as I honestly thought I was having a stroke!

I got to the docs and she immediately diagnosed labyrinthitis!! I think I remember looking at her spinning in front of me, and thinking ‘Right, WTF’s that?’

After a lot of investigation and after a horrendous week of vomiting and severe spinning I became a bit more aware of the condition! Apparently 1 in 6 women between the ages of 30-60 get it but that didn’t help how I was feeling!!!

The first 10 days were just spent trying to stand up straight & stop being sick! The best way I can describe it is if you get up too fast from sitting down and you get that woozy dizzy feeling.. but with labyrinthitis is doesn’t go away!! Very scary!

To cut a long description short, it is basically caused by the initial virus I had and has damaged my inner ear (the labyrinth – nothing to do with David Bowie.. or Emeli Sande!) – it affects balance and coordination and recovery only comes from your brain adapting to the injury. If you want to know more then have a look at this

I’m not one for sitting still so I’ve been incredibly frustrated by it all. It has got me down on a few days, just doing the simplest of tasks, such as showering and walking up stairs was an effort. Also, we have experienced some every heavy snow during this month so because I can’t drive I’ve been trying to get out and about every day and wobbling in the snow has not been easy!!!

One Saturday I decided to head up to the town moor to watch the infamous town moor sledging!

It was great fun although I fell a lot and I lost my lovely 4 month old iphone 5 in the snow! White iphone lost in acres of white snow… needles and haystacks spring to mind! :(

It was an upsetting few days trying to deal with the crappy illness and now needing to sort out insurance and having go back to my archaic Galaxy but all credit to Barclays insurance who had transferred the cost of a replacement phone into my bank account within a week!!! I think I need to chain the new one to me!!

As for my illness, I’m getting better slowly but surely – it’s been a tiring, hard slog and there have been tears of frustration but overall I’m determined to get better and back into a routine asap!

I went for my first drive in 3 weeks yesterday – it was scary and when I got home I was incredibly tense and just burst into tears but it’s the next step in my recovery! I’m still very dizzy especially if I move my head too fast but I’m able to stand with a bit more stability now.

I managed to make it to a good friends’ 30th party at the weekend although I really really missed being able to dance! I can’t wait to get back to normality! This illness has definitely made me realise how much I normally do and I’m not sure I’ll take such things as my hip hop dancing for granted again; I just want to get back to it! And I really really miss my students - I wonder if they miss me as much!!!

So here we are, nearly at the end of January and I’ve spent the majority of it poorly & have managed only 2 days in work all year so far!! I hope to go back to work on Monday but it all depends on what the doctor says! I need to keep my head VERY still when I go back to see her!!

Oh, and as for my freelance work, I’ve been asked to do drawings for the Baftas and Oscars again for the Style and then Some blog which is great news! Another long night of drawing awaits me then but I love it so it’s all good! Can’t believe it’s a year since I did these!

In conclusion, it’s been an interesting festive season with highs and lows so I’m really hoping that the rest of 2013 has a bit more good luck coming my way – I feel it’s long overdue!!

Happy belated New Year everyone! xxx


  1. Avid Blog Follower31 January 2013 at 06:46

    Good blog update! I was worried that you'll miss January totally!

  2. The Avid Explorer2 February 2013 at 10:43

    Where's February's blog update? It's 2nd Feb already....

  3. The Valentine's Day Cynic14 February 2013 at 08:34

    Halfway through Feb and no blog update in sight...