A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
may the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

First blood

Well I did it. My first time as first responder to an accident at work - and I did it right!!

I was in work on Sunday (yes I know what I have said about volunteering, but when a manager looks at me and asks, I find it hard to say no (especially the one who asked me!)) I was in the fitting room having helped a nice elderly gentleman choose some clothes. He was walking away with his daughter when he caught his foot on the display unit and down he went with a bang!

I did everything I had to. I called the duty first aider, made sure the bleeding had pressure applied to it, talked with ambulance control to give them the details. I even made sure I got all the details for the incident report. But most of all, I didn't panic! I had some concerns that when the first time I had to respond, I would bottle it or do something stupid or not be able to cope.

Afterwards, yes I had the adrenaline to deal with and a few other issues - but the main thing is that I did what had to be done. When I rang the daughter in the evening, the gentleman was out of hospital.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

The gasman cometh

Oh boy - what a palaver! Why do tradesmen make things so complicated? Let me explain...

I have just received my gas-bill. It was an estimate that was wayyyyy over the top, so I went to get a reading to correct it. Whjile I was down on my knees reading the meter, I thought "hang on, there is a smell of gas here". It wasn't strong, so I thought I would tell them while I was on the phone correcting the meter reading, and then arrange a time for them to come out and look at it. I knew it had built up over a week so it could not be a serious problem.

Talk about opening a can of worms! No sooner had I mentioned a leak when I was told they had to be there inside an hour. As I was at work and there was noone home, this was a problem. "We need access" they insisted, even though i had pointed out that there was nobody to let them in. Then they decided they could do a "letter-box" test, where they would put the detector through the letter-box and read the quantity of gas on the other side. This was fine, apart from the fact that I have no letter-box! Eventually, they agreed to collect the keys from the store and let themselves in.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, there was a gas leak, (which was caused by the work that the Gas Board engineer had done when he changed my safety device (which is supposed to prevent gas leaks!) He also checked the fire in the old living room, and condemned it as unsafe since it had not been fitted according to the manufacturer's instructions. Again, this is slightly worrying, as it had been fitted by the Gas Board! Now I am getting very worried.

So if I am not here for a while, check the Manx news, to see if there has been a gas explosion here.

Friday, 23 November 2007

BBC Radio 4 News

Heard on the BBC news tonight

'...the M/S Explorer struck an iceberg with 100 pasengers and more than 50 crew on board.'

Thinks - that is a very big crew for an iceberg!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


I was thinking about achievement. I like to watch athletics, which is probably one of the purest forms of sport (drugs excluded) - all competing on an equal footing to see who is the fastest or strongest; who can jump the highest or the longest. All for the gold medal - something that looks good on the mantelpiece.

And then there are other achievements. like Jane Tomlinson who raised money for cancer research, even though she was dying of cancer herself. She was rewarded with a posthumous CBE for her work.

And then there is me. I will never win a gold medal or ride across America for charity. Nor will I get in the Guinness Book of Records. I will never climb Mount Everest or swim the Channel. So I will have to get my satisfaction and sense of achievement from smaller things. Such as swapping a bulb in the car headlight and having it work! Alright, so it may be a little thing, but for me it mattered. Standing in the wind and rain on Ramsey quay yesterday, just so I could be legal to drive home.

One thing I have learnt is to take my satisfaction from the little things in my life. Whether it is completing some embroidery, or as I said, achieving something practical (as I am useless with my hands), I try to find my satisfaction in the small things. Even a neatly arranged section at work can be satisfying, and how small is that?

Someone once said "don't sweat the small stuff". My take on that is instead of sweating the small stuff, try to take pride in it. That way, even though your achievements are small, you do get a lot of them! And small bricks can build a mighty wall.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Manx Facts - number 1

An occasional series of interesting facts about my home

Fact - the Romans never came to the island

The reason for this is that they had booked with the Steam Packet. However, when the saw the cost of their tickets, the decided to go and invade somewhere cheaper instead.

That is the official reason. However, I incline to the alternative view that they were due to travel on the Mare Felix*, but due to inclement weather, the sailing was cancelled and so they invaded Scotland instead, sinec they could get there by road (once they had been built).

*Mare Felix - Sea Cat

All facts have been carefully checked at the Whitehouse Hotel public bar

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

This is a recorded message...

as I am out at the moment. Normal service will be resumed just as soon as I am sure what is normal anyway.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Just another day

Sunday. One precious day off in the weekend. So how come I am too tired to enjoy it? Apart from my laundry and cooking lunch, Sunday was a non-event. I vegged out completely - let the day flow past and did almost nothing. Yet I do not feel rested!

Which means that come this morning (Monday) I am facing another week and am not feeling recharged enough to enter it. it is funny, but when I worked in an office, I never really appreciated the weekends. Now I am in retail, they are precious. Yes, part of the last weekend was my own fault for swapping so someone could go away. As a result of that, I have 2 1-day weekends. And this week, I will be in on Tuesday (when I should be off) and off on Friday (when I should be in).
I am not sure if I am coming or going any more - am I on my head or on my heels? Answers on a postcard please!

Oh well - I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Hanging on in there...

Ok, so part of it is my fault. I will insist on agreeing to help when I am asked to. I guess it is just something in me - whn your manager asks, you agree. I am trying to do what i can to ease the pressure on me. But I still need to learn top say no.

This can really be traced back to one of my colleagues, whom I will call T, came and asked if anyone could swap a Saturday so that she could go away for the weekend. I didn't mind too much so I said I would swap with her. That was ok, as I got Monday off. When I came back on Tuesday, the new section manager (the smart money still says a month) asked if I could start early on Wednesday, which I said was not a problem, even though it meant working through to 6. I left the house at 6:50 Wednesday morning and walked through the door at 6:50 in the evening! Then it was Thursday too, though I did manage to negotiate an hour earlier finish in return for the hour earlier start. And Friday and Saturday I am starting at 8 - so I am not seeing much daylight at either end of the day.

Wednesday - that was a beast of a day. Apart from the long hours, it was a day of a thousand little pinpricks. There was no one thing I can point to and say 'yes, that was what made it such a bad day'. But like the straw that broke the camel's back, by the end of the day I was ready to snap at almost anyone or anything. It was a day of just hanging in there and trying to make it through to the evening in one piece. By the time I got home, i was too tired to eat. And since then, well, it is just a case of keeping going. My resilliance has gone and I am worn out. Only 2 days to go though - what fun!

And just a silly thing. On Tuesday morning, as I was walking to the bus, there was a beautiful sky. I went to photograph it but found I had forgotten my phone! I wish I had - it will be the last sunrise I see this week.