Monday, 10 December 2012

New opportunities on the horizon!

Feeling quite optimistic, if a little vulnerable and scared lately. I think it's fair to say that for a while now I have been unhappy in my situation job-wise. I love the separate parts that make up my working life; receptionist, babysitter and student- but I just can't handle doing them all at once! A few weeks ago, I was offered a full time live-in nanny job in a seaside village about 15 minutes from my house. I turned it down because it was simply too much, with studying and mine and Warren's plans to move in together next year. They were offering an incredible amount of money (£380 p. week) and the six-bedroom bungalow next to this incredible house they are building on the seafront that they themselves are currently living in, rent-free. They have two children, one girl- Pheobe who is 13 years old and a boy- Rory who is 16 but has a very much younger mental age and has Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome.

Since I turned down the job, they had asked me to babysit one night, so I went along and had a great time meeting the kids and getting to know them. Annie (the mother) then sent me a text asking again whether I would consider nannying for them, but maybe just on a part time basis in order to fit in with my studying. I'll be honest; at the moment I received that message, my heart sank. I had just earlier that week applied for some what I though were promising jobs in part time Reception work and had got myself into the mind set that I would stop babysitting altogether and begin working in that type of field. However, after much thought and a few sleepless nights, I decided that it may be a really good opportunity, so I asked to meet with her this weekend just gone. Annie then asked me whether I would perhaps like to take Rory out for the afternoon, to get to know him better and then we could have a chat afterwards. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance and took Rory to Woodbridge for the afternoon, a small local market town where we enjoyed a bit of christmas shopping, a nice biscuit in a cafe and a walk along the riverside. Soon, I could see just how sweet of a boy Rory is, and although he has his challenging ways (constantly asking questions, not having any concept of his own safety when out in the streets, needing my assistance in the toilet, etc) I had a very enjoyable afternoon!

When we returned to his house, after two hours of shopping and singing christmas carols over and over again in the car on the way home, I had that familiar glow of warmth that comes with taking care of a child and seeing their genuine excitement when they return home to their family, bursting to tell them what they had been up to. Pheobe took Rory for a bath, so I could chat with Annie and her husband Jim. They had a very interesting and reasonable proposal of 3 evenings a week (4-8), including for one stay-over and one day/evening on the weekend during term time. This seems absolutely perfect for me, as they were offering more than 3 times what I earn now, and it would allow me so much more time for studying and to generally do the things that I like to do. However, then they said that they would need much more support during the school holidays (13 weeks a year), and would like 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, but the whole weekend off. I nodded and agreed, but didn't realise until I got home and showed my parents that I would not be able to commit to that much work in the holidays, as I would still be studying for most of them. It's so irritating when you think of a really key question or query AFTER you have left the situation!

So, I will have to bring up that notion when I am next with them, which I expect will be over the christmas holidays. I am basically decided on the fact that I want to do it, but there are a few cons;

- Will I be able to fully meet Rory's needs?
- Will I get fed up of working with children eventually?
- Will my life just get solitary? Being at home on my own all day, then going to Annie's, maybe staying overnight, perhaps not getting to see my boyfriend all the time?
- Will I let them down?

These are all things that I have been churning around inside my head for two weeks now to the point where I can hardly bear to think of them anymore. I've hardly slept for thinking about it, and my head has not been in my studying at all. I feel as though I'm just going through the motions until I go and work there, but is it just because I've got it into my head that I will work for them? Am I being tempted because of the exceedingly good pay cheque? I think it will be MUCH easier when Warren and I live together, and I can be with him. But that could be 9-10 months away. Will I be able to cope that long? Do I sound like a complete and utter fool/damsel in distress/stupid woman?



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A bit serious...

Wow, I haven't blogged for a while!

Quick update;

-I had one weigh-in after the amazing 3lb loss, and I was the same, which is OK, I guess. I haven't had one for a couple of weeks because I got caught out at the gym with an expired membership pass (!). Very embarrassing, but I'm hoping my Dad will renew it soon!

- My first TMA for Uni came back and I got 82%, YAY! I was so happy with it, and I have just this moment submitted my second assignment. I don't expect to get the marks for it for at least a week, as it's not due in until the 29th. So, I shall wait like a nervous person!

- Babysitting has been fairly steady, with a few extra weekend bits with Gabriel for Emma. She very kindly let me take Warren (my boyfriend) last Saturday, which was nice for a bit of company. Gabe had his friend Arthur around, so they pretty much amused themselves whilst we watched television. It had actually been a very hectic day; I had a day school before in Norwich, so I had to get the 8am train from Saxmundham, change at Ipswich to arrive in Norwich at 9:30. Then I spent all day in what I thought was a very boring lecture type setting. I doubt I will go to another one, to be honest. It's all very much geared up for those who haven't studied at a higher level at all, or at least not for a very long time. This is all very well and good, but I think it was just a waste of a day for me, really. But anyway, I came home at about 5pm and we had to be at Emma's (which is a good half an hour drive away) for 7:30. It was hectic, but nice for them to all meet Warren after all this time. I've had a few days off here and there from William and Oliver because Alison has gone to India for a work trip (to FREE TIBET and such). I wont lie, it's been nice to relax in the evenings after work. It can be difficult looking after them, as they are so young and energetic and now that the nights are drawing in they can't go and burn off some of that exuberant energy on the trampoline, which means they can sometime send up being quite over-excitable.

- My work schedule has finally changed as of this week- I have a day off today and Thursday! Which means lots of studying and generally having a slightly easier life! I'm planning on taking my Nan swimming after lunch, as I have no babysitting this evening. She has been very stressed out lately, bless her. She will be 87 on Sunday! She lives only about 10 minutes away with my Grandad. Up until recently they did have my Uncle Kelvin (right, and bottom picture with Warren) living with them, but he has been living in a home for the past couple of months. He has Downs Syndrome and has developed Dementia, too over the past 5-6 years. The Home is quite far away- a good hours drive, but it is an excellent place where he is very happy. He doesn't really have any concept of time, or where he is as such, but he is nonetheless still very jolly and content where he is. It got to the point where my Nan and Grandad just couldn't cope any more; they have done so well to have him for as long as they have, and I am so very proud of them. My family and I usually see him once/twice a week. Sometimes we visit him in the Home, and sometimes he comes home over the weekend and they will all come around for dinner. It's just much more noticeable now that he is not living at home how old my grandparents are. I think Kelvin was the only thing that kept them going, really. And now that he is not around as much as he was, it has most definitely taken its toll on them. I go around as much as possible and share their cleaning with my cousin every other week. They come over most weekends, sometimes with Kelvin, sometimes not. And I am hoping that now I have a bit more spare time I can take my Nan swimming and out for other things. She's still incredibly independent- she still drives and doesn't have any major health problems- just arthritis (which is why she enjoys a swim) and the odd ache and pain. She fought cancer a few years ago, and had to have part of her lymph nodes removed from the throat area, but she came through it well. Grandad is the same, with no major ailments. He is diabetic, but manages it well through his diet, an apart from being a smoker is in relatively good health.        

Anyway, off from this sombre mood, I have plenty of things to be doing!


Tuesday, 30 October 2012


Week 2 weigh in went ALOT better than week 1...

I've lost 3lbs!!

So happy with that! Still got a long way to go, though. I must keep focused!

Babysitting has dried up a little bit lately, what with it being half-term now and all. To be honest, I'm glad of it! It's given me a chance to get into studying properly, now the course has got more in-depth. My TMA was submitted a while ago, so I'm still awaiting my feedback from it. I'm hopeful that it's gone well, but there were probably a few mistakes. I forgot to add the self reflection document with it, which would mean that I lose 5 marks, but I emailed it to my tutor and he said it's fine. Phew!

I've had a chat with my dad and we think that it may be sensible for me to cut down m hours at work a little, so that I can have 1 1/2 or 2 days off to study, and so that I can keep up with the babysitting, as I feel that it is incredibly relevant to what I would like to do as a career, and it is all VERY valuable experience that I'm sure any prospective employers would value highly. We have yet to decide what my hours will be cut down to, and I have been monitoring phone call rates to try and work out when the busiest days/times are, but it's so hard to predict- no two days/weeks are the same! I think it may be a better idea to perhaps have a rota system that gets updated week by week, so it's adaptable.

To be quite honest, I'm looking forward to having a bit of time to myself, so that I can go to the gym if I fancy it, or take on a bit more babysitting if I dont have to work that day, and of course being able to study at my own pace. The only downside is that I will be earning a lot less money and, being on a £5 per hour wage, isn't going to be fun!

I'm sure I'll cope, though. Technically, I'm a student, so I'm supposed to be poor, right?


Monday, 22 October 2012


Put on 1lb this week. Probably due to the massive blow out weekend with too much alcohol and crap food!

Determined to hit the gym hard this week! I've just been today, going tomorrow morning, Thursday morning and Friday afternoon! Week 2 weigh-in WILL be better and I WILL lose 8lbs in 2 months!

Weekend Comedown...

Feeling a little fragile this morning! I went to the Kiss Weekender last weekend with a few friends- we stayed in a caravan and had far too much to eat and drink and far too little sleep, although it was a VERY good weekend!

Today will be my Week 1 weigh in, after work when I go to the gym. I'm hoping that I've lost 1lb, or stayed the same. Last week was an excellent week diet-wise, but I had a total blow-out on the weekend, although there was alot of walking/dancing. Fingers crossed I wont have put anything on, otherwise I will be very dissapointed...

As you can probably guess, there hasn't been an awful lot of studying this weekend- in fact, none at all. I did manager to type up my TMA01 on Friday after work and I printed it out on Sunday and let my Dad read it, just to point out any silly mistakes (of which there were a couple!). I wont be able to do anything today study-wise, but I have the day off work tomorrow for a trip to the doctors, so I am aiming to correct the mistakes and send it off (a week early!) then.

Today I am going to look after Gabe (5.45-8pm), and I finish work at 3pm, so I'm going to the gym straight after work, having dinner at the gym; they do an awesome chicken caesar salad! Then I will be off to Emma's for the evening. I do love going there- it's so nice to have a night of babysitting that is kind of relaxing. As Gabe's so grown up now, we tend to do things like homework and just generally chill out, rather than when I go to William and Oliver, where it can be pretty full on at times!

I'll only be going to William and Oliver on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, as they have a Halloween Disco on Thursday night. William announced last week that he wanted to dress up as a chameleon, and Oliver decided he would like to be a mouse! I think Alison has wisely decided to just buy a couple of costumes from Tesco and make them wear those- I dread to think how much preparation would have to go into making a chameleon costume... and a mouse, come to think of it!
My Halloween costume has arrived, and this year I am going all out!

This is my costume! I also have some fake blood, grey face paint and fangs- I'm so excited! I've never really done a serious costume for Halloween before, so I'm looking forward to getting bloodied up. Is that a bit disturbing...? So, that party is coming up next weekend on Saturday night, and on Friday me and my friend Dan are thinking of going out in Ipswich, because Gemma Collins (The Only Way Is Essex) is at a club there for meet and greet. Overall, it will be a busy weekend again, which means that I haven't and probably wont have alot of time for the other half. We usually spend most of our weekends together, but we have both just been so busy, that we haven't in quite a while :( It's our 2nd anniversary on Thursday, so I should get to see him breifly then, but I doubt we'll be able to really celebrate it on the weekend, as christmas is coming and we're both a little short on the cash side of things. I'm trying to get christmas presents now, but I just had to shell out £150 for hotel rooms for my birthday weekend away (1st December), so that hasn't really gone very well so far!

Will update soon on first week weigh-in, studying and babysitting!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Progress Made!

So, in terms of my OU course, I am feeling pretty good! I have been using my half an hour lunch breaks and have been able to write a full draft of TMA01 (due 29th October) with a word count, and to my surprise- I'm pretty dead on with it! About 700 words so far, which I'm sure will grow slightly to fulfil the 750 word limit.

My plans for the rest of the week are to type it up in a better format on Friday afternoon (I finish work at 1pm) and send it off ASAP! I might get my Dad or someone to read through it first, just to make sure I've not overlooked something completely stupid! Then I'm off for the weekend to the Kiss Weekender (as in the Radio station) in a caravan park in Great Yarmouth with some girlfriends (and one incredibly camp boy friend!).

I've also re-started my diet, which I have been on mostly since he beginning of the year (bar about 3 months, up until now). I originally lost about 1 stone, but it took a HELL of a lot of effort, which I think was down to the cotraception I was on at the time (The Injection), but since changing this to a non-hormonal method, I am ready to try again! So far this week, I have managed to stick to 1600 calories a day, and have visited the gym for a good hour each time, on Monday afternoon (between Work and babysitting Gabe), Tuesday and Thursday morning (for which I got up at 6.30!!). It's going well so far, although I am definitely feeling the gym work today! I normally do 30/40 minutes interval training/cardio on the cross trainer or bike, then toning exercises on the leg press, leg curl, chest press, another arm thing that I can't remember the name of (!), sit ups and leg raises.

I'm not trying to be a skinny person, or lose drastic amounts of weight, I would just like to get rid of a few lumps and bumps! My ultimate body-crush at the moment would be Nigella Lawson- I would KILL for that body!

Week one weigh in will be coming up on Monday- fingers crossed for a pound or two! I'm quite eager to lose the 7lbs I gained in the 3 months that I stopped dieting fairly quickly, so we'll see how it goes. Although, I highly doubt that I will be having an angelic few days this weekend!


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Waiting, Waiting...

Currently waiting for my hair dye to develop, so I thought I'd give you a quick update on life so far...

After my busy, busy week, I've had a MASSIVE Sunday lie-in (until 10.30), which was amazing and just what I needed! I really started to feel it yesterday, when I went shopping with my mum, and then to my Nan's for some lunch, and then out for tea with my parents. I had SUCH a headache all day! :(

But I feel much better today! I think I was definitely sleep deprived! So, this morning I printed off the transcripts of my OU DVD for the scenes "The Street" and "Material Lives", so that I can find references for TMA01.

Friday was an excellent day for studying! I got the afternoon off from work, which will be continuing for every Friday, so that I can come home at 1pm, have a spot of lunch and study until I die/fall asleep! I made suitable progress on Friday- finished off Week 2 (Ordered Lives), by first watching the DVD and making my own notes or "Observations" and then working through the Learning Companion and making any notes that I have missed, with an overall summary. I then like to type this all up and organise it into a Word Document. I'll then store this in a folder for future reference.

Once that was done, I made a start on attempting an essay plan for TMA01, which I did in note form, taking notes from the Assignment Handbook, and my previous notes from "Material Lives".

I'm thinking that on Monday I can go through the transcripts at lunchtime at work, and highlight certain areas to use in my essay. I then plan on visiting the Gym, for the first time in MONTHS before I go straight off to babysit Gabe.

I haven't talked too much about my love life in this blog, but it is coming up to mine and my boyfriend's (Warren) 2 year Anniversary (25th October), and we're trying to decide what to do... I doubt we'll be able to do anything or maybe even see each other on the actual day, as I have to babysit William and Oliver until 6pm, and then Warren has a meeting to go to from 7.30pm. Perhaps we can go out for a nice meal or something on the Friday night? Not too sure yet- I'm expecting him over in a little while, as we are going to my brother's girlfriend's house with all of her family (who we really get along with) to celebrate her 19th Birthday! It's a  bit strange, but her mum and my mum used to be best friends at High School, and our dad's were pretty close too, but all lost contact as they were growing up, etc. And now they have been reunited again through my brother and Jess!

Well, I guess I'd better get this stuff off my head, and see what's happened!