Posts Tagged ‘health’

In reverse order, so you don’t get worn out by the home-related words, of which there will be many:

I’ve been rather sick for the last week. First was a head cold that I caught from Jed. Overall rather mild, didn’t need to take time off work, but still sniffles and fuzzy headed not as good as being well.

Then on Thursday I spent the day in bed (and the neighbouring bathroom) with a stomach bug. Thankfully it was a 24 hour bug, but my stomach has been very delicate since. Eating has been problematic, with my energy spiking and crashing ever since whenever I eat (or don’t for too long). Not very fun, but I’ve had this happen before and know what to watch out for.  Hopefully it will even out while we’re in Devon and in time for Christmas. Being fed regularly might help, rather than the ad hoc eating patterns Jed and I have on weekends.

The interview last Wednesday, so you can all stop crossing fingers, etc. The  job was quite similar to the one that I had in Sydney, that I enjoyed immensely. I walked away from the interview thinking it had gone reasonably well. Felt I’d stated my case as a desirable employee, my knowledge of waste infrastructure projects and experience in case managing them, and that I’d built a rapport with the Chief Operating Officer. As long as I was what they were looking for then I’d be fine.

I received an email on Thursday stating that I’d not been successful. In the midst of being sick this didn’t really register, but since then I’ve been feeling a quite lost and despondent. Not sure where I belong or what I’m doing or where to go from here. Income is not an issue (yet) as my current employers keep renewing my contract. But, it is increasingly apparent that the team I’m working for does not fit my workstyle. Almost detrimental to my confidence and sanity in many ways. I need something else. But if it’s not a job with London’s Waste and Recycling Board then I’m a bit lost where my skills and knowledge are needed, where I should be targeting. What to do as a small fish in a large pond.

I’ve been feeling this very strong urge to run back to Sydney (and take Jed with me) and beg DECC for a job again, for the security and stability I had in Sydney. If only this was feasible. Perhaps I need to learn to live with a modicum of uncertainty and instability?

They’ve invited me to call to discuss the decision, which I will do on Monday (if there’s time after the drive to Devon) or Tuesday. I’d really like to know the basis for the decision, if there’s something I’m overlooking during interviews, or whether it was simply that there were more qualified candidates that pipped me to the post.

Right then, HOUSE


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(as an antidote to the long posts)

  1. I find I get inordinately offended if anyone implicitly questions my honesty and honour.
  2. I inadvertently ate some fresh chillis at lunch. Now I am all spacey and concentrating is a particular challenge, but it also feels like I am incredibly focussed and skillful. It’s a very strange intolerance that I have.
  3. I just found a tiny muscle under my jaw that is tight on the left hand side, but not the right. Evidence that my back/neck issues are also jaw related, something most practictioners have never picked up on.
  4. Reading the free papers available at train stations makes me depressed. Reading WIRED magazine, or a proper broadsheet paper does not.

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I’m a big fan of writing lists. Of dreaming and planning how things could be better. Tinkering around the eges as well as making big changes.

Last week I found the list I wrote last July of things I’d do ‘Upon turning 30’. Here’s reflection on the results:

  • QiGong Exercises – I found a book that detailed Tai Chi type excercises. I’ve done Tai Chi in the past and loved it, but I’m no so good at actively finding a school and showing up for classes. I want the perfect teacher and situation to show up, or I like to think that I will become immediately able to practice such things at home. Not happened yet. Maybe one day. Or maybe I should just start…
  • Yoga – ditto above. Love Yoga, it’s really good for me. I once had a wonderful teacher and a regular practice and then I moved and it fell apart. Really, really need to pick this one up again for all sorts of reasons, not least that I couldn’t sleep last night because my shoulder was really tight and painful.
  • Swimming – ditto the first three. It’s good for me, and I mostly enjoy it, but getting motiviated to find a regular time, getting out of the house vortex after I get home, buying swimmers, and looking after female waxing requirements means this is all too hard.
  • Regular removal of stuff – this was quite successful. Moved myself to England with 3 suitcases and 14 boxes of stuff. there’s been some purchasing since I got here, but realistically I’m now better at getting rid of stuff and have less stuff overall. I even managed to find a decent home for almost everything I used to own. Yay planning!
  • Seasonal cooking – this has been fantastically successful and is even easier here, as the impulse to cook is stronger now that the lure of King St is so far away.
  • Notes on UK/EU – I assume this was future job related. Didn’t happen. I do have a slim Moleskine notebook which I am slowly filling with notes of fun and interesting things to do in England. More socially focuessed, less professional.
  • Notes on Sustainable Production & Consumption and Product Stewardship – again I assume this was future job related. Didn’t happen, but that’s OK
  • Drawing/Art – this fell away in the last half of last year, and hasn’t really picked up again. I suspect I have an inverse relationship between stress and creative output, and last year was insanely stressful.
  • Money! Money! Money! (implement Your Money or Your Life) – I had my financial life reasonably settled and well on track to being fantabulous when I left Australia. Understandably, this has slipped quite a bit since I’ve been here. I’ve been busy setting up all sorts of things, emotionally, and I’ve neglected the financial side. There’s too many details to get my head around, it’s a bit scary. Not having a guaranteed income hasn’t helped either as the structures I’ve developed for my finances rely on regular fortnightly income.
  • Cycle charting – this came from a book I read last year, The Pill. I made the intention to start paying more attention to physical and emotional swings throughout the month. Quite useful and enlightening.  I’m a bit more gentle with myself, acknowledging that my baseline emotions do actually subtly change on a relatively predictable weekly basis, and that “blankie days” should be enjoyed rather than ignored. I highly recommend the concept, and the book as a tool of self-awareness.
  • People, not things – hard to know how this one went. It was a strange year in relation to people.
  • Contemplation, and pursuit of, La Dolce Vita – getting there. This is probably a life goal, rather than something to be attained in a year. Especially last year.
  • Cycling – hmmmm, see first 3 points.
  • Get better at food: unjade palette; bring lunch from home; get routines set up – tick for the first one. Cross for the second, although I’m not sure this will ever happen, I like a fresh cooked hot lunch; Maybe for the 3rd, depends what I meant by routines. What I have become better at is experimental cooking to use up stuff in the fridge. I’m rather proud of that practice.
  • Details are important – I suspect this one related to people and their lives. Still not good at this one, could do much better at remembering important information and dates about friends and relations and following through on actions that would help and indicate love and affection. On the other hand, I really, really needed to not worry about other people’s details this year, as I sorted out the deluge of details in my own life.

I’ll update the list for being 31 in a separate post. I need a little while to decide what might be important in this coming year.

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In which I bitch about how horrible Tuesdays are. Most of the post is hidden, since I’m sure not everyone actually wants to read it. Mostly I need to vent.


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Last week’s update didn’t happen, mostly as I’ve been very sick for the last 6 days. Chesty cough, feverish, sniffles, completely exhausted able to cope with being in bed, on the couch, or a slow foray into town for a coffee to get me out of the house a bit. Don’t think it was swine flu. Probably just normal chest-cough flu, caught from Leylah. Yay children! Yay new countries and their new bugs hitting my unsuspecting immune system!

So, we had a lovely weekend two weeks ago, but now it’s been ages since it happened so you can all cope without the details 🙂

In other news I have a job interview on Thursday with the Department of Energy and Climate Change as a policy adviser, for which I am currently madly reviewing all I know on climate change policy, and precisely why I am an excellent person to work for a government department. Wish me luck!

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An odd week. I spent Monday at home on the couch, sick, tired, worn out and typing out a job application for Department of Energy and Climate Change. Which I sent off in time, and then subsequently checked 2 days later and it’s rather unpolished. I’ll be amazed if I get an interview, on the other hand they are hiring for lots of positions, so perhaps they‘ll overlook the lack of polish and decide I’ve got the experience they’re after. Crossed fingers.

Spent most of the rest of the week worn out, tired, listless, and playing Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. Not sure why, as I don’t really like the lack of structure in the game, maybe simply because it’s there and it’s a game you can leave running with no end point so it sucks you in. Maybe. Although, reading back over emails it was also a week of small adjustments between Jed and I resulting in an absolutely wonderful weekend.

Friday night was a rather boozy dinner at our friend Tom’s house, in a part of the local area I’d not been to before. Gorgeous house and garden, lovely food, and fun conversation. Tom is a DJ, of sorts, so we all had fun for a while mixing up songs on his kit.

Saturday was spent with a hangover (horrid one- me, mild one – Jed) while we wandered around IKEA buying bookshelves and a bed base. As well as mucking around on the gas lift bar stools, crashing out on one of the beds, having a pillow fight and dancing to our own beat-box music next to one of the displays. To quote Jed: “Can I marry you? We just went through IKEA and didn’t have a fight, I didn’t have to take a coffee break mid-way through, and we had a pillow fight”. We then wandered around East Croydon shops, I had a bra fitting as I’ve no idea what my size is here. This turned into a 1.5 epic as there was a line for fitting, a chatty shop assistant, then I had to find a couple that I liked, and then line up to pay. This was supposed to be a quick nip in to get a bra on sale. Sigh. Finally we had a lovely very late lunch at an Italian restaurant while it rained lightly outside, then caught the train home with our purchases, riffing about Donkey Banks on the way home (I forget how it started, but we were in fits of giggles at the silliness).

Sunday I made ricotta and berries on toasted brioche for our breakfast (thank you much missed Satellite café for the inspiration). I can highly recommend keeping a bottle of Monin sugar syrup in the cupboard for such breakfasts, it tied the whole dish together.

After breakfast we canvassed the options for the day:
Quiet day around the house, then head to a friend’s place around 2 for a beer, then walk to Reigate
Got to Crawley to get some things Jed found the previous day while I was bra shopping, but could n’t be bothered waiting in the really long queue for
Or, eventually after we’d agreed on option 1:
Go to Brighton and buy a Lego set each.

Not surprisingly we chose option 3. It was a really lovely day, we have friends in Brighton, it’s about 40mins away on a direct train, and well, Lego! I am now the proud owner of this set, which I’ve had my eye on since last July, and I spent most of yesterday evening working on it. I’ve completed the first two storeys. Will do the final one this evening. It’s perfect for display on a bookshelf (which we purchased on Saturday) and has a flat side to be a stylish bookend. Or certain girls who stay over could play with it. It is Lego after all. Jed got 3 Space Police sets, so now has a couple of bug-eyed monsters, a robot dog and a space policeman, which amused him greatly. He resisted the Millennium Falcon model, although I’m sure that will be purchased in the future. Photos of the model will be up in the next week, for gloating purposes J

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Reflections on bedtime

One of the most interesting (to me) parts of becoming a responsible adult in a child’s life is observing the rules and rituals that go into giving that child’s life stability, health, freedom and boundaries. One of these is the regular bed-time rule.

Which got me thinking. As adults we impose rules on children as we know it is for their good, but they might specifically recognise this –

  • eat all your vegetables
  • clean your teeth
  • lights out by 9pm
  • etc.

But, then, we forget to do these things ourselves. (side note, this is an interesting post on how we don’t share as much as adults despite encouraging our children to do so)

During my 3 month ‘retirement’ I could sleep as long as I needed to. (Interestingly sometimes this was 12 hours straight). This also meant that I could go to bed later than I would have while I was working, especially as Jed is a bit of a night owl.

But, is this really a good idea? Especially now I am back at work. I need to be out of bed by 6.50 on a work day, which means an alarm at 6.30. I need 8-ish hours sleep to function properly, so I should really be in bed by 10.30. And yet, 3 nights this week I’ve gone to bed at midnight.

The difference? There’s no responsible adult telling me to get ready for bed. And perhaps a bit hypocritical to be telling a child she has to go to bed at a regular time, no matter what interesting things are happening, when we don’t follow that rule as well.

(this post is about someone’s else’s experiences on re-creating a sleep time habit. I’m not as logical-process oriented than him, but it’s been an interesting part of this reflection)

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On allergies

Cute South African "Daisy"…or, more aptly, a lack of them.

All my life I’ve had the sniffles and half -sneezes (much to the amusement of some of my former colleagues. My mother claimed I didn’t blow my nose often enough, then thought I might be allergic to the dog. They disappeared for a year when I lived in Thailand (thanks to my sister for reminding me of this), and came back soon after I returned.

Following that year I became intolerant of milk and large slabs of red meat. The meat one has reduced (except for kangaroo meat), but I still don’t eat a lot of dairy products.

Then in my mid-twenties I became allergic to cats, red wine and chilli.

This seems to have stopped, or reduced. I have no sniffles here. It’s lovely. My guess is that Sydney dust affects me, and is the base allergy upon which the others are built. The best part was going to J’s parents for Easter, where there is a cat indoors and not suffering ill effects. I did dose up on anti-histamines, but in the past this would not have made a difference.

I’ve bought some local honey in an attempt to become used to the local pollens, to hopefully stave off the return of the sniffles.

One of the unexpected benefits of moving here.

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it’s all about the boots
Originally uploaded by deepwarren.
An early example of office stretches on desk.
Sort of.
Actually it was about the shiny boots,
but you get the idea.

My back is a bit screwed up, mostly as a result of using computers for long periods of time since I was 7. I am aware that one of the best ways of fixing it is through regular stretches and movement, but sometimes it’s easy to forget. Hence I do them at work.

People from FOLT will remember the little animated man that used to pop up on my desktop and instruct us in stretches for office workers (if you need an RSI blocker program, it’s the best one I’ve found, and it’s freeware). I’ve now been in my new job long enough that it’s becoming de rigeur to see the product stewardship and data teams stand up at 11.00 and follow me through a series of movements. The favourite being “stop in the name of love” and just swinging your arms around. It’s not quite office yoga on the floor at 4pm, but it’s a good thing

This morning I realised I could add another stretch to the list. Simply placing my feet on the desk and attempting to gently straighten my legs. My hamstrings are so tight that this is painful. it’s nice, easy and low impact enough that I just might do it frequently and start to fix that other issue.

So for all you other office type people, do you move often enough??

In other news related to a difference version of stretching I want to go to this exhibition “Design for the other 90%” (from this post by No Impact Man). Definitely not this one from the Museum of Creationism (from Larvatus Prodeo).

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perhaps it’s the after effects of the wine I drank with Mikki last night.

perhaps it’s because my chiropractor helpfully decided to stretch my hamstrings for me, and to beat me up a little, in a good way.

or perhaps it’s because there have been no flowers in my house for 2.5 months.

so I bought myself some flowers, hopefully the day will get better.

Edit: so apparently you should always look for the easiest answer. listlessness and inability to concentrate plus tiredness and vaguely feeling like bursting into tears = early stages of bronchitis. The gerberas are still nice though.

*note, this is not my photo, so therefore not the actual flower that I bought. Photo by lou.1310

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