Monday, April 28, 2008

Heading South....

When the time came to leave Manchester, I was handed into the care of two R*dcl*ffe young people, with the instruction, get your auntie sally safely on to a if I wasn't capable of catching a train on my own....we caught the local train into Manchester where I was talked to non -stop in between phone calls from mobiles to friends in Manchester, waiting to go shopping, saying they would be there 'as soon as they safely had their auntie sally on a train.'' Simple.

When we got to the station, there were no trains to London showing on the screens. Investigation proved that this was correct, due to a derailment near Watford, no trains were going into London. Typical. I turned to my two young friends who were both on their mobiles again saying they would be held up. You go and join your friends, I'll be fine. But no, they had to make sure I was on a train. Any train.

Having worked out I could connect to a London train by going elsewhere, a suitable train was located, leaving in 30 seconds, so I was ushered on, and waving madly, my young friends ran off to get down to some serious shopping.

I settled on my train, showing my ticket to the kind lady inspector and explaining my change of direction. I realised I didn't know what connecting train to get. I rang Stu and Karen, explained my dilemma and asked them to find me a connecting train...not into London, but somewhere near St Albans. Watford? Luton? What time does your train arrive, asks Stu, looking at his pc.

Oh, I don't know.. I call down the crowded carriage to the lady ticket inspector, sounding, I realise afterwards, southern and quite posh...' Excuse me, what time does the train arrive at Sheffield?' She turns round. 'We're not going to Sheffield, me duck, this train is going to Leeds.' There are a few guffaws around the carriage and a couple of ladies cluck sympathetically. 'Whatever, 'I say, 'I don't mind where.' This is greeted with more tittering and people look at me as if I'm mad.

I tell Stu my time of arrival in Leeds, and he tries to get me to Luton or Watford, but fails. I rack my brain....where can I go...I know!! The Leeds line goes to Stevenage. 'Get me to Stevenage!' I shout, aware that everyone in the carriage is listening with interest, wondering why I don't seem to care where I am going... 'Make up your mind,' says Stu, sounding exasperated. But I am right, I can catch a connection to Stevenage and be there by 5.40pm.. I only lsoe an hour or two.

DC, who was going to pick me up at Watford, had I gone straight from Manchester, and we were going to shop at phoned by S and K, and instructed to meet me elsewhere.

When I am on the platform in Leeds I get a text from K. 'Has Paddington Patterson arrived yet?' 'Yes' I reply. I manage to get to my connecting train (God knows how without the help of my two assistants) and reach Stevenage at 5.40pm precisely. DC is late. It is cold and raining. Eventually he arrives and we speed to nearby Staples to do a large stationery shop in 10 minutes before it closes at 6pm.... of course when we reach the till, there are complications, we have spent more than our account card will allow, and they can't confirm by phone as the office is closed. So we offer to pay by credit card instead.

Would you believe that everything in our two trolleys has to be rescanned to be credited against our account card, then scanned again against our credit card? The staff all try and help the Saturday girl who is clearly overwhelmed by the whole process while DC and I try and be patient and accept our fate which seems a ludicrous way of going about things..aren't computers lvoely???

By 6.30pm we are surrounded by 6 fed up staff members who can't close the tills and lock up and go home until we do.

Safely in the car, I reflect it's been an interesting day. Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, they're all the same to me. No, says DC, Sheffield is further south, you'd have been much quicker going there than Leeds. Really? Is it? My geography has never been very good. I could have sworn Sheffield was further north than Leeds. I get a withering look and a cuff round the head.

Then I was home, to be greeted by the husband and mother in law. It had been a good weekend.....

Sunday, April 27, 2008

And another thing....

When I told Stuart I had blogged, he rushed to read it, and then sent a message, phew, I thought you were going to dob me, Stuart, it was never my intention to write about how you took me out to lunch in Manchester, and then after we had left, and walked about half an hour in the pouring Manchester rain, you turned to me and said, 'Um, Sal, did you pay for the lunch?' 'Um, no Stuart, I thought you did.' 'No.' So back we walked through the pi**ing rain, back to the nice people in the pub, where I said, 'My friend, the vicar here, would like to apologise for leaving without paying....' and so Stuart paid up, and to our amusement, they hadn't batted an eyelid that we had left without paying, and were unimpressed we had returned...all very understated.....

But we had a good day, which included an interesting and enjoyable visit to an art gallery right in the centre..all made of here, it's just the name that escapes me....oh yes, Urbis, it's bigger inside than it looks from the pics, and the lift goes diagonally, it's dead cool....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh I almost forgot....

..three weeks ago I went to court in Stevenage for yet another speeding offence..yes I was driving at 39 miles an hour, I shouldn't be allowed on the road...well now I am not, I had my licence taken away for 6 months, so now not only does C cook and clean and shop, he also drives me everywhere. No independence at all! It's like going back to being a child...

All my friends and work colleagues (including the trustees who had a meeting an agreed not to dismiss me from my job) have been really supportive and have been giving me lifts to enable me to still do my job, go to meetings, visit families etc.

I have needed the lvoe and support. But not the people who look at me and say, 'Well, you could walk more, it would do you good and help you lose weight.' yes thank you, I know, I don't need you to point it out.

Oh well, C is ready to drive me into work, must dash!

Hello...I'm back!

I am determined to do this...the longer I am away the harder it is to come back! It started by being busy...there was so much I wanted to blog about my trip to Manchester, then I didn't have time, so then all this stuff builds up in my head, and then I feel under pressure (self inflicted I know!) and I got busier, and not very well, and very tired, so each night, when it was my normal blog time, I couldn't be *rs*d!!!! As time went on, so much was going on for me, I just didn't know where to start, so this morning I determined just to log on and start writing!

Thank you to those that have missed me and occasionally texted or e-mailed to ask if I was ok. The answer is simply...I am both ok and not ok! The not ok stuff I just can't blog about, because it's too personal and anyway of I do I will just cry, and I have done enough of that...

I have been trying to take care of myself, see friends, read books, and in order to help my sleep problems have been trying not to go on the computer late at night...but that was over taken by having my iphoone under my pillow and checking the time on it dozens of time a night...then check e-mails, then read blogs (thank you Caroline for giving me something interesting to read about at 5am!!!)

At very very worst time a month or so ago, when 4am was the most lonely and hellish time on earth and I wasn't sure I could get through the night..(sounds dramatic but that is how I felt) I remembered my cousin was working in Dubai, which is 4 hours night in desperation I texted, 'Are you there?' and he reply came back, 'Yes, I'm here for you.' It helped just to have a response even if we texted about the weather or work, it grounded me and kept me sane.

Although my iphone has helped me through the night, I read something on Sunday, an article entitled 'sleeping with the enemy' and it was about this very subject. Phones give off signals and radiation and this can keep you awake at night if you sleep with one! The article said, 'Do you wake up and check the time on your phone? Do you check e-mails at 2am? No wonder you can't sleep!'

The other thing is that I was lying awake waiting for text messages that didn't come, and then I would send abusive text messages, sometimes for hours, venting my anger and hurt and upset on someone that didn't respond! Not healthy!

So for the last two nights I have not texted anyone, turned my phone off and tried to sleep. How I have survived life and work in recent months on two hours sleep a night I don' know...not very well is the answer. But I am taking myself in hand (ooh..) and trying to change things and protect myself from hurt.

I have a few health problems which the doctor thinks are stress related - no!!! - and I have had blood tests and now face an unpleasant procedure to investigate stomach problems (that's the polite way of putting it) I know break polite rules by blogging about sex and death, but what about bowels???? ok, I'll take that as a no then.

Last week I had minor surgery at my doctor's and I so wanted to share it with you..I'll save it for next just need to know that I had a 'traumatised mole' removed from under my right breast. Now I just need to know what pictures that conjures up in your minds....the GP couldn't understand why I doubled up laughing when he said the words......

So good to be back.. Hope you feel the same! xxx