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2015 - Mycroft!

Wow, not been here in a long time, but since I've had this journal for over 10 years now, I figure a major life change needs documenting.

I'm a mum now! I have a son, named Mycroft Alexander, born on the 14th of January 2015.

I can't really put into words all the emotions and craziness of the past month, but wow, so much love and so little sleep! Hehehe.

Well, if any of you are still out there, there it is.
Take care,
Be Happy,
Love from Zoe.

p.s yes, we did name him Mycroft after Sherlock Holmes' brother...

A brief round-up of 2013!

Hi again!

I figured i'd better post something just to prove I am still here! I'm not sure if anyone else is though. I check LJ daily but no one seems to post anymore. Still, i've had it a very long time and it's quite nice to have a record of these things. So, it's nearly the end of 2013. This year has been pretty awesome in Zoe-land.
Key things this year -

Got some research funding for a project on mental health in renal patients!
Got a cat named Tolkien!
Got a job as a clinical research nurse!
Made some awesome new friends!
Learnt to drive and passed my driving test first time!
Joined a roller derby league and started learning to roller skate!
Got officially engaged! I didn't LJ about it, but those of you who have me on facebook will know how happy I was. He proposed properly, down on one knee, in front of one of our favourite paintings which resides in one of our favourite museums where we had a few of our first dates.
We have now booked the venue and the date, and, fittingly, the venue is also a museum! Wollaton Hall in Nottingham, which is just down the road from us and is also where they filmed part of the latest Batman film as Wollaton Hall plays the part of Wayne Manor. Hehehe, we get to get married in Batman's house!

So, here's hoping for an even more awesome 2014! Especially the 19th of October, i'm particularly looking forward to that! (Wedding!)

I hope your years have been equally fantastic and that 2014 brings you much joy and shininess!
Be Happy!

I made it to 24!

Woo! I'm alive! I made it to the grand old age of 24!!!

This may sound insane, but for some inexplicable reason for years and years I had this idea in the back of my head that I would die when I was 23. I don't mean that I was depressed or paranoid or anything like that, it's just something I kind of always slightly thought. I think it must've been something I thought as a small child when 23 seemed a very big age, and I guess I accidentally internalised it. It is probably that I came up with the idea talking to my grandmother who for as long as I can remember has always told me that she will die at the age of 72 and not a moment later. She is adamant. I remember once as a child asking her what she'd do if she didn't die at 72, and she told me she'd make sure she would. I didn't understand that really at the time, so I asked her how she'd do that. She told me she'd just drink washing up liquid or something. Yes, I know that'd just make you sick, but I suppose she was being a dutiful grandmother and didn't want me trying it for some reason. *shrug* So I suppose when she said she'd die at 72 I decided I would die at 23. Over the years I also decided somehow subconsciously that ice and snow would be involved because of a nightmare I once had of dying in the snow. Then I freaked out because yesterday it started snowing really hard and lots of people couldn't make it to work because they were snowed in.

But, it seems the universe wants to keep me around a little longer, and I made it to the 5th of April mostly unscathed.

Does that idea sound completely mad? I don't consider myself particularly mad, it was just something I honestly thought would somehow happen. I'm glad I survived though. I'll have to think of a new age to die at, I'm thinking 114. Want to get my telegram from the King/Queen (depending on what Wills and Kate have first) ;)

I got some lovely things, including a Cath Kidston cakestand from the boyfriend's family and an amazing bouquet of flowers and a Kindle keyboard 3g from Justin (and a meal tonight, and theatre on Saturday). The Kindle is dangerous though, i've already downloaded more books than it is possible to read in a year, and they were all mostly free! A lot of the classics are free on the kindle store. Does anyone else have a kindle? Any cheap kindle book recommendations? I'm so very excited!

How are you all anyway?

This post is brought to you by the incentive of the lovely Tea's idea of WriteAllTheDays :)
Love to you all,
Be Happy!
Take Care!

Write All The Days is Open For Business!

Originally posted by teaberryblue at Write All The Days is Open For Business!


Write All The Days is a community for people who like to write and need some extra encouragement, support, structure, or accountability to meet their writing goals.

It is for anybody and everybody who needs a little extra something to keep writing-- whether you need to write for work or a class, and want to make sure you hit your deadlines, whether you want to be a more consistent blogger, write for fun/meditation, or want to finish professional writing projects (or things you hope may become professional writing projects).

We set goals at the beginning of the week, and check in throughout the week to keep ourselves on track. At the end of the week, we recount what we've done to meet our goals that week. There are no prizes and no requirements. You don't have to share your writing unless you want to. There is no goal too small or too large, and you don't have to set a goal every week.

Please join!

How to avoid being stopped in public?

Hello again livejournal!

I have a question for you. Why is it that whenever I go into town it's ALWAYS me that gets stopped by the charity collecting people and the religious people and the survey people and basically anyone who stands around trying to impart some knowledge to me and part me with my monies?

I have no problem donating to charity, or listening to people tell me about something they feel passionate about, but I have a problem with them being so militant about it and always catching me! Loads of people I know seem to have mastered the technique of walking quickly past without making eye contact, I cannot.

Today I was randomly sold a book on spiritual cooking (whatever that is...) by a monk who apparently lives in a house that the Beatles stayed at. He asked me all kinds of random questions about whether i'd ever tried meditating and what I feel about the world and what I do to ease the suffering of others. I told him I was a nurse, so pretty much my whole job is attempting to ease the suffering of others. Then he told me about not getting stressed and how there is so much stress in the world and meditation can help and he's not stressed and what not. I suspect therefore that he didn't listen to the part where I said I was a nurse. Nurse = stressed. Nurse currently working in the underfunded and currently confused and in limbo NHS? = more than stressed. I wanted to say I am stressed because I am doing more to ease suffering in this world than standing on the street talking about meditation and selling books on karmic cooking... but I didn't because I felt bad for him. Clearly he wants to be a monk, who am I to stop him? But I object at the insinuation that somehow what he is up to is better than me and warrants a donation. But I still donated, because I suck at saying no. Argh.

And charity people always make me feel guilty. I have certain causes I donate to, and others I don't, not because I don't think they are all worthy, but because I also need to eat and pay rent and other such things. I remember being most miffed once when I was a student deep in my overdraft and so I told one such charity collecting man that I was unable to commit to a direct debit donation every month to his charity as I was a student, his reply? "Lots of students donate to us". Do they? I'm so happy for them that they are obviously better at managing their finances than me, perhaps they have some parental input? I don't care, I am unable to donate at this time and your attempt to make me feel guilty about it is not going to change that, but it will make me refuse to donate to you and other street collectors because I am sick of you being annoying just to get commission. The worst is when they say "Oh, you can just sign up and then cancel it" Erm...no. If I sign up it's because I care about your charity and want to donate to them, which obviously you don't because you just care about your commission! So now I only donate to charities I have decided on myself online, or those who are just collecting spare change etc, and charity shops.

I do however always seem to spend a lot of time chatting to these random people in the street.

What is wrong with me?! Why do I seem to exude catchability?
I don't mind so much, I just don't understand why it's always me. I'm happy to chat to pretty much anyone, so long as they just want to chat, I'm a fairly chatty person.
Are you guys like that?

And why don't I have a vespa? I want one.
I hope you are all well and shiny. Sorry if I sound a little stressed today...
Be Happy!
Zoe, over and out.

Of New Jobs


I officially suck at posting once a week.

I have however now started my new job as an actual registered nurse on a renal ward! It is awesome and terrifying and busy and full of responsibility but the people are lovely and helpful and i'm settling in alright. 12.5hr shifts are a bit of a kick up the butt after 8 weeks not on a ward... I prefer long days though, means I only work 3 or 4 days a week, which means I have 3 or 4 days a week off! Though of course nursing is a 24/7 52 weeks a year kind of deal and I am working a 12.5hr shift on Christmas day... Oh well, I have the two days after Christmas as my days off so I can go back to Leeds and celebrate Christmas with the family. Unfortunately it means I don't get to spend Christmas with Justin, but I have new year off I think so I can spend that with him. I plan on wearing tinsel in my hair and Christmassy earrings and trying to be as jolly and in the spirit of the season as possible, because it must be rather sad to have to spend Christmas in hospital as a patient.

But eek! I'm an actual nurse! It keeps scaring me. I put on my new uniform (well, I say new, it's 're-commissioned' as they can't afford new uniforms at the moment, and they're soon designing a new one anyway, so I got a set of uniforms that are basically big blue tents for me to live it, about 3 sizes too big, but at least they're roomy and comfy!) and all of a sudden I was in proper nurse blue, not student nurse pale blue, and everyone starts asking complicated questions and expecting me to know stuff. I wish they came with L plates on, you know? So people can tell if you're a newly qualified nurse or not. I also had a mini freak-out when I saw my name officially printed on the off-duty, under the registered nurse section and not scribbled in pencil in the student nurse section.

I've got so much to learn, but I won't be doing dialysis myself for a few months, they're letting me settle in and learn to be a regular nurse first before they make me a renal nurse. I started last monday, and since then have mostly been wandering around in a daze looking scared, lost and confused whilst trying not to get in the way. It took me 20 minutes to do a wound dressing the other day, about 5 minutes to do the dressing but 15 minutes spend just hunting for all the things I needed. It's a whole new hospital and trust to the one I trained in, so even though the basics are the same, as across all the NHS, the particulars are different, slightly different paperwork, slightly different preferences for what dressings are available readily, different beds and protocols etc. I'm sure i'll get used to it, everyone is very nice in reminding me that everyone had to go through this phase and that in a few months it'll be like i've always worked there. Roll on a few months is what I say.

Anyway, in news of other new things, Justin rolled home at 4am on Saturday night, having just delivered a baby himself. That was quite exciting. Well, I say delivered it himself, I don't mean he personally gave birth, I mean he was leading the delivery from a medical point of view (he's a medical student), and he held the baby and clamped and cut the cord and passed the baby to the new mummy :) This just seems pretty awesome to me, that he was the first person to hold this whole new mini human and bring him out into the world. Labour sounds pretty scary though... But I don't think i'll be having kids 'til i'm 30 anyway, want to do some relief nursing abroad first and that involves more experience and training, and waiting for Justin to finish med school anyway so we can go together, so I have time to forget what he's told me about the birth-giving experience and the screaming between now and then.

Next week is our 1 year anniversary, and we're going to go see the Lion King in London :) Yay!

Also, this Thursday the new Terry Pratchett book comes out! Yay!

So, that pretty much sums up the life of Zoe at the moment. Things are good! New job is exciting, even if a bit stressful but I believe that's normal.

I hope you are all well!
Be Happy!

Updated Bucket List

So, last time I said I was going to do a review of my lifetime goals... Of course, I have more lifetime goals than these no doubt, but at the moment, this is what is coming out of my head.

When I was 21, in a post from the 24th of May 2009, I wrote the following goals, and I have added my current comments in italics -

- Keep loving and being loved. Had a change in boyfriend, but am now loving and being loved more than ever, so, tick for that one! YAY!
- Help people, make people happy, and attempt to make the world shinier whatever I do. Hopefully managing this one, some days probably more than others
- Get at least a 2.2 in my biology degree (obviously higher would be nice, but a 2.2 wouldn't kill me) Done, tick!
- Get a job doing something I love and that is useful to society, e.g a nurse. Am indeed a registered nurse now! After lots of tough training, phew, and I love it!
- Go on to research, try find cures and treatments for various diseases. Still an ongoing thing, hoping to save up and do my masters in nursing research next year, do it whilst working
- Go to a Fairy Festival. Still not been... keeping my eyes out
- Take mum to the Ice Hotel and to see the Northern Lights. Grandad too if he wants to go. Still the plan, when I earn more money
- Take mum and grandad on a lovely holiday. They seriously deserve it. Also still the plan, when more money has been acquired
- Go to mount Kilimanjaro. Still the plan, may do it with this organisation I found where I also get to go volunteer as a nurse abroad for a while, whilst Justin volunteers as a doctor so we're in the same place together
- Visit every continent and learn shiny things. Again, still the plan
- Get a Volks doll from Japan in person, and acquire the two other Pullip dolls I have my eyes on. Can't even remember which two pullip dolls I had my eyes on at the time of original writing, but I still plan on eventually getting a Volks doll from Japan, and I am still collecting Pullips, so, half a tick?
- Learn to be fluent in many languages, including German, Japanese, Russian, and Italian. Have now decided that the first three languages on my list are French, British Sign Language and topping up on German, but still can only speak English... no tick...
- Read all the stuff I want to read. ... Well, this is not very realistic, I don't think it's possible, but I keep trying, so, tick for effort?
- Have children. Would still very much like children, but not yet! My mother keeps wondering when she's going to be a grandma, I say not 'til i'm at least 28...
- Earn enough money that I don't have to worry too much about money. Seem to be keeping afloat. Still over a thousand pounds in my overdraft but when my first pay check comes through eventually I should start to see positive numbers in my balance...
- Be Happy. Always ;)

I'd like to add that I managed to eat Macarons from Laduree in Paris, and visit Disneyland which were two of my life goals I hadn't written down, yay! I feel somewhat accomplished. Hehe.
I'd also like to write a book. Whether or not it's a publishable book is another matter. And I want to do these things with Justin by my side, he's the most important thing to me now, even if it does make me sound like a soppy romantic girl. Shush. If you ask, I shall deny writing anything this soppy in the public domain.

So, not doing too bad really. I shall re-review next year. I'd write a longer list, but then it gets a bit hectic, i'll keep the rest of the list in my head, those will do for now.

Anyone else got a list?

I hope you are all well.
Be Happy!

Pact already broken...

So, first off, i'd like to make my apology to any pact gods/goddesses/random sprites/readers that may be watching over pacts that are made and subsequently broken with an eye to punishing me in any way.

The universe conspired against me. My laptop died, and the new one arrived, and then I discovered that unlike my old laptop my new laptop is capable of supporting Sims 3 and thus I was lost to all civilisation. I have also been busy in actual real life, celebrating getting a distinction on my nursing course, attending physiotherapist appointments for my poor long suffering back and actually doing what they tell me, going to Alton Towers theme park, attending engagement parties, visiting museums, and last night seeing the new BBC film of Jane Eyre (actually very worth seeing, despite them not showing the bit I wanted to see right at the end...).

I am going to do a post where I re-evaluate my life goals, as I was rereading my journal and found where I put a little bucket list kind of thing, and I was thinking which of them I have already achieved in the past few years and which I have yet to achieve, so, watch this space!

I hope you are all well!
Be Happy!

Weekly Posting Pact

Right then, here goes...

Thanks to the lovely encouraging comments on my last post I have decided to post at least once a week here to try and get myself back in journally mode. This may also help if I decide to do NaNoWriMo again this year as i'll already be in a regular writing cycle.

So, to update you all on the life of Zoe. It's been a while. Let's see, where did we get up to last time... I hope you're all sitting comfortably.

Well, I turned 23 in April. I have fulfilled two of my life dreams since then, thanks to Justin. As a birthday/6 month anniversary gift he took me to Paris and Disneyland! I know, i'm way too lucky, don't hate me. So, I got to eat macarons from Laduree, and I got to go to Disneyland! EEEEEEEEE! And I was well behaved, I didn't kidnap any Disney characters, though I was sorely tempted.

Also, since I last posted, I had my first trip to the emergency department as a patient (which was a little embarassing since i'd only just finished my placement there as a student nurse). Fell down the stairs, injured my back. Lots of tablets and general pain and blergh. Thankfully nothing broken, but have an appointment to see the physio at some point though i'm pretty much OK now, just a few residual aches and pains. I'll live. It was annoying though as it was just before we went to Paris, but I still went on the rollercoasters at Disneyland, completely ignoring the signs about those with back injuries...

I have moved out of student accomodation and into a one bedroom flat with Justin, where I get to benefit from his awesome cooking and lovely fortnightly flowers.

I have also, perhaps most crazily of all, now qualified as a nurse! ARGH! I start my new job in a few weeks time, on a nephrology ward (kidney stuff) I'm so excited, but so terrified! Sometimes I worry that i'll mess things up, that I don't know enough. Nursing is a lot harder than the media would have you believe, and i'm scared of losing the security blanket of having my mentor be responsible. For example, in all the previous cardiac arrests i've seen, as a student i've been allowed to step back if I need, told only to do what I feel able, have a go at various bits, fetch things, pull buzzers, do chest compressions. As a qualified nurse, i'll have a lot more responsibility and decisions to make and no opportunity to just feel overwhelmed. I hate cardiac arrests. They're not like on the telly, the person never comes back and if they do it's only temporary, a few regained life signs, and then they go again.
Of course, they are rare, and I do know what to do so I feel equipped. I just hope not to have to see many for a while. Heh. I like my patients perfectly healthy thankyou very much. Possibly i'm in the wrong job... But no, I really do feel like i've found my place now. For those of you who still don't understand why I chose nursing instead of medicine, well, I can't be bothered to go into the fundamental career differences with you again, but just know that i'm sure I made the right choice.

Also, the sister who interviewed me for this job seems awesome, we talked about Harry Potter for part of the interview, always a good sign! I can't wait! I'm terrified, and hoping i'll be good enough, but I can't wait!

Right, that's enough waffling about my inane life for now. See you next week!

Be Happy :)

Aug. 30th, 2011

...I never post here anymore. I don't even know if anyone reads it anymore to be honest.

I keep wondering whether to just shut it down, or to keep it going. I've had this journal for so many years now it'd be a shame to end it.

Anyone got any ideas how I can get more back into livejournal? Anyone out there ever still look at this?

I hope you are all shiny and well.

Be Happy