Friday, 20 October 2017

Apps For Happiness

Over to you  lot to do some work today. It's rather good to delegate.  I'm trying to put together a little smorgasbord of apps from Google Play.  It's for the tablet of someone on my caseload at work who is depressed and not particularly au fait with modern technology.  Has anyone got any suggestions of what I should include?  Of course I've got some ideas of my own that might stimulate, educate or entertain.  But I'm interested to see what ideas others might come up with.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

My Other Louis

It's just dawned on me that I've never shared any Louis Armstrong music with you guys.  Let's rectify that now shall we?  This guy has journeyed with me for a while, since my university days.  Maybe he's the subconscious inspiration naming my son?

I had a cheap double cassette, probably from Woolworths which got played until the tape got stretchy.  This was one of the songs. As well as showcasing great musicianship it should give you a jolly good giggle.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

The End of Ambition?

I had my annual appraisal yesterday and got a good star.  I am a hardworking, talented, compassionate clinician who my new manager enjoys having on her team.  Onwards and upwards then?  No, even though I've been ambitious in the past I've made a conscious decision that looking to advance my career in the NHS isn't going to happen.  I've chucked out all ideas of doing any self development work and have made a commitment for the next year that amounts to turning up and doing my mandatory training.

So what's happened?  Quite honestly there isn't any time for anything else but the most urgent care.  It wouldn't be safe if I threw anything else into the mix and my priority is towards doing the best for the people that I work with rather than being self serving.  So the career advancement projects and studying that I used to do have gone out of the window.  Without those there's no prospect of climbing the ladder in the health service especially as I'm geographically compromised because of having a child.   When I was a kid myself I was told that if I worked hard I would be rewarded.  But in the last three years I've driven myself harder than I've ever done before.  There's been no extrinsic reward, although thankfully there's still intrinsic benefits.    It's just been necessary to keep my nose above the water. 

But enough is enough.  I could have gone on moaning.  I used to do that.  Instead I decided to take control and have started on the path of self employment. I've been open and honest now about my plan.  In lots of ways it's a shame.  Most of us are passionate advocates of the NHS.  But it's getting to be a intolerable place to work.  I'll keep going for a while but, for my own sanity and health, I don't think that I can go on at the same pace that I've been sustaining in the recent past.

My plans for the near future are to change my working hours to give me more time to kickstart my business properly. I'm putting in a request to change my working pattern to a nine day fortnight.  Then when the pennies start coming in I'll bale out gradually.  I'm still ambitious and hopeful and believe that hard work can reap its own rewards.  I'm just following a different path to success these days.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

As If You Need One: A Reason For Kindness.

A ludicrous and unseasonal picture today but it serves to illustrate my point.  Yesterday in the car I was listening to this Youtube presentation by Wayne Dyer and he mentioned a piece of research that I felt compelled to pass on. 

But first, I thought I'd do a bit of delving myself to see if the study that he alluded to was robust enough to be taken seriously  I was going to set about the task of academic inquiry at bedtime last night, my final wanderings on the Internet for the day.  But I was shattered and instead got a fast track into the land of Nod.

So to hell with it!  I'm going to share this anyway because it's a nice idea.  Apparently whenever you are kind to someone, their serotonin levels increases.  This is the hormone, of course, that some anti-depressants seek to top up.  What's more your own levels rise too.  And furthermore anyone else watching the kind act gets a surge of happy chemicals as well.  Now isn't that something worth trying even if the evidence for this turns out to be half baked?

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Arrival of Little Blue

Little Blue, my new Skoda Citigo has finally arrived!  Somehow he got caught up in the Greenpeace protest about Volkswagen diesel cars and spent longer than expected sitting on a dockside in Germany.  Maybe he was delayed for a good cause?  I've captured him with a leaf stuck in his front grille.  Perhaps this symbolises the fact that his own eco credentials are rather good, a Greentech low emission petrol engine.

He's got a step more refinement than Leif, my car that he replaced.   This time I've chosen a version with more punchy air conditioning and a sun roof.  Even though the chance to drive around with it fully open have been limited on the couple of drives I've taken it's so lovely to open up the cover and have more sunlight streaming through the roof.  I'm a sucker for getting as much light into a space as possible.  Skoda have also added a couple of small refinements.  I can now control the passenger window from the driver's side of the car.  That's handy on my ferry trips.  And the parcel shelf has now got strings attaching it to the roof.  Leif didn't have these and I can't count the times I had to stop because I'd forgotten to put the bloody thing down.  Tiny differences but I'm all for things that reduce everyday annoyance.

The salesman at Skoda was diamond.  He couldn't do enough.  Just before Little Blue arrived in the country he phoned to ask me to choose a numberplate.  They were all pretty non descript.  I picked at random  A couple of hours later he phoned back like an excited puppy.  Another batch of plates had arrived and this one is as nearly to a personalised one as it gets as it incorporates my initials.  Silly frippery but it was pretty hard to refuse!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Nearly No News

Is there anyone else out there who has made a conscious decision to cut down on the amount of news media that they absorb?  I did it when Trump came into power.  Don't get me wrong I'm not living in a bubble.  The dangerous escapades of the US president don't pass me by completely.  I also know that there might be a hurricane on the way so it's probably not a good idea to dry my washing outside tomorrow.  And it seems that a film producer who made more than one or two passably good moves let testosterone get the better of him.

What I'm not doing anymore is getting regular  updates of what is going on in the world.  I don't have headlines popping up on my phone or listen to the hourly bulletins on Radio 4.   I'm not going to let the constant repetition of stories fill my mind.  It seems better to devote my thinking time to how I can make a personal difference rather than fretting about things that are outside my control.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Crabby Thoughts

Photo:  Rhian Wyn Harrison
Since Calamity Jane made a fish print out of a polystyrene pizza dish and my attempts to make a print of my own were unsuccessful my head has been full of crabs.  This is the way of things when I think about a creative project that I'd like to conjure up.  Thoughts about its execution fill my head.  It's  a much better use of brain space than worrying about the past or the future I can tell you.

Photo:  Rhian Wyn Harrison
I also look for online inspiration.  In my meanderings I came across the wonderful work of local artist Rhian Wyn Harrison and yes, I'm especially taken by her crab picture.  But I also like the way that shes uses old books and maps for her work rather than boring cartridge paper.  Now there's an idea I might pinch in one of my future creations.