Bikers, Bells and Band


It has been one of “those” days today. You know the ones, where randomness happens throughout the day and you just have to shake your head and say, “well, that was a bit good!”

Well my day has been a bit like that.

First of all I went to Stay and Play this morning and saw absolute genius in action. One of our mums is blind, and she has managed her baby very well with the help of either her own mum or a carer who was there to help guide her around and to make sure that the baby was always looked after. The baby has now grown up a little bit and is toddling around quite happily on her own two feet, but today, the mum came without the aid of either her mum or her carer, instead relying on the help of one of the other mums (a friend of hers anyway) to get her into the church hall and to get her seated and so on. The genius bit was this:

dsc_0640.jpg

A set of jingle bells round the little girl’s ankle so that her mum could hear where she was in the hall and could track her movements easily. We were all astounded at how such a simple thing could mean such a lot – that not only could the mum enjoy some independence, but that the baby could also enjoy running around without getting too far away from mum. Of course there are always lots of people watching out and interacting with the mums and tots in the group so there would never be any real danger, but how’s that for a stroke of genius to help them both enjoy a bit of living!

Nature was also having a bit of genius this morning too. How’s about these couple of beauties?

dsc_0642.jpg

 

dsc_0645.jpg

 

dsc_0647.jpg

Still reeling from the gorgeous skies and cold, crisp air, came a demonstration of something deeply moving. At about 12 o’clock, there was an almighty roar of engines going past the church hall as a big group of bikers made their way noisily up the main road. About 15 minutes or so later, they all came back again, this time doubled in number, going half the speed and leading out a hearse and a funeral cortege down towards the crematorium. The flowers on top of the coffin were in the shape of a motorbike, and the flowers down the side of the hearse spelled out BROTHER in black flowers. What a sight, and what a gesture to witness. Here is a video of the tail end of the procession so you can see for yourself.

Then this evening, I had the utmost pleasure and privilege to sit and listen to the Pemberton Old Band as they were put through their paces at a rehearsal for an upcoming contest. I have been going there for the last couple of months with Ethan, who is playing bass trombone for them, and I have heard the piece they are playing take shape and get generally better and better each week. The band has a great sound and tonight they were pushed to really play proper pianissimo and fortissimo, which was fantastic to hear. There are another couple of rehearsals to go before the contest at the end of the month, and it promises to be a great performance. Looking forward to it.

So there you have it, a couple of things that have made up my day today. Random? Or simply a reflection of the eclectic life I have?!

Either way, today has been a good one.

 

 

Manchester Storm


Wow! The weather in Manchester tonight has been AMAZING!

It started at about teatime when the sky went green – yes, green – and there was a terrific rumble of thunder. Shortly afterwards, the lightening started and we were treated to the best light show all year.

This was the view from the back of our house at 6.30pm:

14329254_10157469959320054_1904770644_o

 

This from the front showing the torrential rain and the grid which was struggling to cope a bit:

14329183_10157469955005054_84514556_o

Apologies for the Manc accents on these, but two short videos I shot out of Ethan’s bedroom window:

The thunder boomed and cracked for about an hour (including the LOUDEST thunderbolt I have ever heard at about 6.45pm) before it started to ease off. The rain kept up for a while longer and the lightning was going for about two hours or so. Thankfully the thunder rolled off to the north – I don’t like it when the thunder cracks like it did tonight. It puts me in full Chicken Little mode!

There have been lots of photos shared on social media this evening including this one from “I Love Manchester” on Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FILoveMCRdotcom%2Fposts%2F1193871817353019%3A0&width=500

As well as having an affect on transport around the city it also caused the Manchester City vs Borussia Munchengladbach match to be cancelled. The fans were prevented from getting to the stadium because the trams were stopped and the roads were gridlocked, but as you can see from this photo from the BBC, there was quite a lot of surface water on the pitch just before it was due to kick off. Not surprising really!

 

My favourite video of the night has got to be this one – it shows the Etihad stadium lit up by magnificent purple lightning. Awesome!

One Tough Mudder


I’ve got to share this – my daughter, Emma, one “tough mudder” indeed! dsc_0496.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you didn’t know, I’ve got a bit of an action girl for a daughter and this is her after a weekend of stewarding, camping out, then running the Tough Mudder challenge and more stewarding in Cheshire this weekend. How she does it is beyond me. She is physically very fit, constantly on the go, and loves being outdoors so this kind of thing is right up her street.

She’s a tough cookie in other ways too, having pushed herself to find work in this doom-and-gloom economy amongst other things. She doesn’t have it easy at the minute but she never complains (to me, anyway!) and she is always positive and ready for the next challenge.

She’s my hero really and I wish that I had more of her grit and determination. Good luck tomorrow on your first day at your new job, Emma. Show them you’re one tough mudder!

 

 

Share Your World – Week 36


I have Cee to thank for today’s post. You’ll find her at Share Your World

List 2 things you have to be happy about?

Food in my cupboard, and air in my bike tyres.

If you could take a photograph, paint a picture or write a story of any place in the world, what and where would it be?

I would love to be able to paint a picture of water, and my choice of location would be somewhere like the rugged Lake District in England, or maybe the stunningly beautiful Llyn peninsula of Wales. I am not any sort of artist though and any painting I made would probably not be fit for viewing. However, I would love to write about it. And with that in mind, watch this space! I have an idea for a story set in the 6th Century involving pilgrims on a journey through Wales to the holy island of Bardsey.

Should children be seen and not heard?

Hmmm difficult one this! I believe children have the right to be heard, but along with that right they have the responsibility to understand that so does everyone else. Children are naturally gregarious and boisterous, but they have to learn that there are times when that isn’t appropriate and adult time is valuable too. There’s nothing worse than trying to have a conversation with someone only for them to break off to answer their child who is pulling at them with “Mummy, Mummy” going on. Apart from being extremely rude to the person they are speaking to, they are giving the child the message that they are prepared to drop everything and answer them on the spot. Sometimes a quiet “in a minute, I’m speaking” is all that’s needed…so long as they don’t then forget to get back to the child! It’s all about manners and self-awareness for me, but no, I don’t think that children should be seen and not heard. They have a right to mix with company and be noisy if needed, just so long as they know that they are not necessarily the centre of attention and know when to be quiet.

List at least five of your favourite first names.

baby-nameAs a writer I’m forever trying to come up with names for my characters, and it can be a traumatic experience I can tell you! Some names conjure up a set of expectations and I try to match those expectations with my characters and sometimes I like to play around with them and name a character the opposite of what the reader would expect. However, my own personal taste – if I were to have the privilege of naming an actual child again – are very traditional. Here’s my favourites, in no particular order (the first two are my own children’s names!)

Ethan
Emma
William
Elizabeth
Jessica
James
Matthew

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I was very grateful to see a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for several months. We had been very close for a number of years but there have been a few spanners in the works this year and we have drifted away from each other recently, so I was extremely grateful that we could spend some time on Friday catching up and just enjoying each other’s company again.

Coming up, I’m looking forward to Ethan going back to college and Emma starting her new job next Monday.

 

 

Finding Purpose


It’s back to school this week in England and for the first time in nearly 18 years, I have not had to do any sort of stationery or uniform shopping for my children. I have watched Facebook light up with the pictures of my friends’ children on their first-day-back photos (or as some wag dubbed it, “National Stand In Front Of A Door Day”) and my teacher friends posting status updates about how they can’t sleep etc, and it has brought about very mixed feelings for me.

back-to-school

This time of the year always represents a kind of new beginning for me – always has done. September for me means new school year, new pens, new notebooks, new shoes, new winter coat, new start, renewed goal-setting. In some ways, September is more of a New Year than, well, New Year really. For me it’s the chance to start over, make new promises to myself, wipe that slate clean and get on with things with a new sense of  intention and enthusiasm.

As well as having this feeling because of my children and their school careers, recently I have experienced it for myself in the shape of my OU degree, where the modules begin again each September.

But this year is different. Emma has long since left university, my OU career is over, and Ethan is in his last year at college and he is studying music, so no need for the quick trip to W H Smith’s this year with him! It kind of makes me sad that it’s over, but there’s more to it than that and it goes a bit deeper.

This year, I feel that my own sense of purpose is being tested. As you may know, I don’t have a job and at my age and with my health record it’s unlikely I’m going to be able to just walk into one anytime in the near future. I no longer have any studies to look forward to, and my children don’t need me to mother them the same now as they did when they were at school. Emma is a fantastic, independent young woman now who, though she is still my little girl, she is a person in her own right. Ethan is almost a man now and has very firm ideas on what he wants to achieve from life, and neither of them need me to the extent they did before.

I do have hopes of my own, but a lot of that depends on a long and complex process within the church. For this week, this month, even the rest of this year, I have nothing to do and nothing to feel purposeful about. And it’s a scary feeling.

I wish I was one of those people who look at emptiness as an opportunity rather than a threat, or one of those who look at having no responsibilities as a life of ease rather than a life of boredom, but I’m not. Of course, there are day to day things that I’m involved with and that I enjoy doing but being fulfilled like that is not quite the same thing as having a sense of purpose. I suppose it’s a bit like the old “empty nest” syndrome of yesteryear, and it puts me in mind of Ria in Butterflies. Of course I’m not anything like her in lots of ways, but that sense of “what about me?” rings true with me at the minute.

Perhaps I’m impatient, and perhaps I’m showing a lack of faith by feeling that way because I know that the story is an ongoing one, and God hasn’t finished with me yet. But what do I do in the meantime?

meh2I have got a couple of writing projects on the go, but with no deadlines they are just waffly notes and incoherent storylines at the minute. I have got a couple of pieces of music that I want to arrange, but same thing, with no deadlines there is no need to get worked up about them just yet. I can’t settle to crochet very much (my eyes need testing and I don’t have a pair of glasses that I can see the stitches properly with unless I hold it right under my nose at book-reading length, and besides, it’s too hot still to be crocheting blankets or hats!) and besides which, I don’t have any orders outstanding so, yup, you guessed it, with no deadlines to hit there is no urgency in getting a project planned and prepared.

 

And there you have it. This September is most definitely a “new” time for me – an emptiness that I have only kind of experienced once before. This time however, I do have a couple of things that are keeping me going more than they did last time and I thank God that I do or else I wouldn’t know how to cope at all.

I’m not used to having my Septembers being so blank and empty, and I wonder what is going to come along and fill it all in the coming weeks. I hope and pray that when something does come along it will shake me out of this dip I’m in just now.

Anyone else feel this way when their kids grow up? I’d love to hear your take on it if you have experienced it or know someone else who is going through it. Drop me a line below and share your story with me.

 


daybook buttonFor Today… 3rd July

Outside my window… first day today for about three weeks with no rain!

I am thinking… how spirited the Iceland football team are. They certainly have heart

I am thankful… that I have such caring friends and family. We have had a tough time as a family recently with financial difficulties and I am extremely grateful for two people (my Dad and an unknown benefactor) who have given us money this week to be able to get through it.

I am praying for… our mystery benefactor; my Dad who has fallen off his bike this weekend and who is a bit battered and bruised today

I am wearing… dark blue shorts and a white t-shirt

I am creating… a screenplay to submit for consideration to the BBC

I am going… to chase up my son’s passport application tomorrow. He needs it back before 20th July and the ETA is 6 weeks… got to apply the pressure tomorrow or else he won’t be going to Italy with the music centre

I am wondering… how amenable the passport office is going to be in the morning

I am reading… I am in between books just now having just finished R D Wingfield’s “Night Frost”. Need to find a new book before I go to bed.

I am hoping… that my Dad hasn’t broken his wrist after his fall yesterday. He is going to the fracture clinic tomorrow to see the extent of his injury. He has got it in a cast for now but hopefully tomorrow will reveal no fracture

I am learning… that it is painful to admit when friendships and relationships come to an end

In my garden… a photo from last week:

dsc_0144.jpg

In my kitchen… I made a vanilla and chocolate traybake cake on Friday to take to band practice for my birthday. It was one of my more ‘average’ attempts

A favourite quote for today…

A peek into one of my days… dsc_0162.jpg

This is my Dad just before his ride yesterday. He is training for a sponsored bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool next Sunday, and he is raising money for The Christie Hospital which is a cancer specialist hospital in Manchester. He has raised money for them before and he was/is looking forward to riding again next week to raise some more. If his injuries from yesterday are such that he can’t ride next weekend then he will honour his sponsors and will ride in a couple of months when he has healed. If you would like to sponsor him, his JustGiving page is at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Derek-Swain

One of my favourite things… is having both of my children here for a meal together

Post Script: Money, or lack of it, causes a lot of stress. Lack of money but owing it to others causes even more stress. Owing it to others and not having enough to cover basic costs before you even begin to think about paying debts is one of the biggest stresses I can think of, and it has the potential to cause so much harm. I alluded to it above, but these last couple of weeks have been the most stressful I can remember for a long time because of debts and money issues and I cannot say enough times how grateful I am to the two people who have helped this week. It has meant that we can take the pressure off for a little while and we can take time off from thinking about how to get out of our mess.

It’s a funny thing really. As you may know, I am a Christian and my faith in God teaches me that all will be well, God has got this, and if we trust him he will catch us as we fall. And I do believe that, I honestly do, but it takes a certain depth of faith to believe that when it feels like things are in freefall. Knowing God’s hand is there to catch us as we fall means the world to me and I am certain that as a family we would have broken up before now and personally I would have had a nervous breakdown or something if it hadn’t have been for my faith in God. Yes, debt is stressful, and yes, not having enough money to cover debts and basic living costs is stressful, but having God’s grace extended to us and shown to us through the actions of friends has literally kept mind and soul together through this.

We are a long way of solving our financial crisis yet, but by the grace of God we will get there as a family and we are all the stronger for it.

 

 

 

Daybook Entry 13th June


8598a-simple-woman-daybook-largeFor Today… Monday, 13th June

Outside my window… The sky is clearing slightly after a full day of drizzle, rain, rizzle, and showers

I am thinking… About how acts of hatred and violence seem to be everywhere we look at the minute. If it’s not guns and shootings in the USA, it’s football riots in France. If it’s not an argument about politics in Europe, it’s a hate-fuelled torrent of political abuse from people vying to be the next President of the United States. It’s everywhere and I’m sure that the world cannot be so filled with hate as it seems to be.

I am thankful… for the privilege of working with so many children at church in so many different ways. For example, I have been involved in three very moving baptisms in the last couple of weeks, each with their own different pastoral cares and this morning at Stay and Play was a joy for me.

I am praying for… E&S and their wedding later this week; my son who is facing some health challenges; my daughter who is spending the next 2 months in a forest teaching young people how to do all sorts of outdoor activities.

I am wearing… my comfy Everlast ankle socks. You know when you have a pair of socks that are the right amount of tight round the top, with a nice band that goes round the arch of your foot and snuggles it just so, and are thick enough to be warm but not too thick to be sweaty, and are pristine white? Well, a pair of those.

I am creating… a portrait of my son, and a painting of a sunflower. I’m into oil painting at the minute – a complete break away from words for a change.

I am going… to try to paint a landscape in the next few days.

I am wondering… when the summer is going to return again.

I am reading… “Time of Death” by Mark Billingham.

I am hoping… I can solve the problem of how to paint eyes in portraits or else I won’t be able to show you my son’s painting!

I am learning… that oil painting is not as easy as I thought.

In my garden… my bike is waiting patiently for me to oil its chain and to dust off the pedals again.

In my kitchen… we had lamb biryani for tea. All home made and twas rather delish.

A favourite quote for today… “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you sow” Robert Louis Stevenson.

A peek into one of my days… my Prince Charming this morning, pulling funny faces at the camera

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of my favourite things… is watching the rain watering my lovely green garden.

From the board room… I am sooooo making this for Emma!

 

Post Script:

We are deep into the GCSE exam season again, with only a few more weeks left before another set of 16 year olds are left bereft and betwixt the worlds of school and sixth form or college. Having worked in secondary schools for the past 14 years, first in pastoral role and now as an exam invigilator I have witnessed this stage of children’s education many times over. I don’t know whether I despair OF these children, or despair FOR them as they reach this stage. Most of them are well-adjusted individuals who realise the enormity of exams, and the consequences of having good, bad or indifferent results but there are some who are entirely clueless and it’s those young people who I feel deepest for.

Take the boy on Friday, who whilst waiting for the exam officer to arrive with the papers, said to me “Will I get in trouble if I put my head on the desk and go asleep?”. I said to him that he wouldn’t be in trouble from me, but did he really want to scupper his chances of passing the exam by not even attempting it? His response is typical of a worrying trend that I’ve seen before, and he said “Well, even if I score 90 on this I’ll only get a C so I’m not going to bother”. And he didn’t. The exam started, he answered the first part of the first question and then promptly closed his paper and put his head on the desk for the duration of the exam.

Why would you do that? Why does he think his only worth is in terms of what grade his exam shows? Why does he not care that even a grade D is worth something? And if he wasn’t satisfied with what he had attained already, why did he not work harder for the last couple of months to try and pull himself up? It’s not as if young people today don’t know where they are in terms of attainment and grading etc because they are tested and told often enough.

But here’s the thing that worries me and makes me despair FOR them: so, even if that lad had pulled his guts out and attained a C for that subject, what difference will it make to his earning capacity in the years to come? Even ‘good’ grades don’t necessarily convert into ‘good’ jobs. No job is secure any more, and all that lad could hope to get would be a zero hours contract in a warehouse of retail outlet somewhere for the next couple of years. I don’t blame him for wanting a nap on a Friday afternoon instead of sitting an exam when the sad truth is that it probably won’t affect his life chances and options later on very much at all.

The even worse thing is that he’s not alone is he? There are thousands of children churned out of the school system each year with little to look forward to and little prospect of getting ahead or lifting themselves up from the position they are in unless they are extremely lucky or extremely brave. A subject for another blog post maybe, but it seems that schools are little more than exam factories whose job it is to churn out compliant drones who fall into the category of “A* – C” or not, as the case may be. Art, creativity, spontaneity, individuality and so on are all squashed and discouraged, sacrificed for grade boundaries and “performance indicators” for both staff and students, upon which funding is based for subsequent years.

In some ways I wanted to shake that boy for scuppering any chance he had to further himself on Friday, but in other ways I applaud his individual stance and his refusal to play the game of being turned into another drone. Only time will tell whether that was the right course of action for him to take.

 

Phew – Made It!!


It’s been a busy few months on the Mushy Cloud and you may have noticed an absence of blog posts for a while. I have recovered from my heavy (oh so heavy!) workload now and I hope you will rejoin me as I start my blogging experience again.

In case you didn’t know what has been happening, I have finished my degree after studying 5 modules in 3 years with the Open University and have been working hard on my final assignments.

I was studying a course in advanced creative writing, which involved learning more about the different forms of writing including my (new) favourite of writing drama. Drama is a cover-all term for radio plays, stage plays, screenplays etc and I wrote a 30 minute screenplay for my final assignment which is something that I never thought I would ever be able to do. I loved writing it and am anxious about how it will be received and whether it will earn me enough marks for me to pass at the level I want. It is a story set in 1918 and the present day and is about a soldier from the trenches who is brought to a military hospital in Cheshire where he meets and falls in love with a nurse. I didn’t set out to write a love story but when the characters start talking to you, you have to go with the flow I guess.

My other module was on Children’s Literature, which involved learning all about the history of children’s literature as well as thoroughly getting to grips with a big range of texts. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I signed up for it, but I have thoroughly loved it and I have read some books that I would never have thought of outside this module, such as ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Tanya Landman. A brilliant book and well worth a read.

So both of these modules represent the culmination of a 20 year journey for me, and if all goes well and to plan, then I am in line to be awarded a 2:1 degree in July. I will let you know how that goes.

In other news, I tried running in an attempt to get my body moving and to combat the long hours I had been putting into studying. It didn’t go well and I gave up far too easily, but I will be getting going again soon. Either running or cycling. Or swimming. Yes, swimming instead. Easier on my poor feet!

It took me a long while to recover after my final assessment went in – too much reading in a short space of time left my eyes a bit tired and my brain very mushy, not to mention the kinks in my back from being sat for long stretches at the desk. I haven’t been able to read very much for a week or so, but my creative streak had a flare and I did some art work instead and it was nice to do something a bit different this week.

dsc_0001.jpg
Work in progress – sunflowers in pastels. It’s all about the process not the result

It has been a whirlwind of activity at church too in the last few months and now that I have finished my OU studies I am really looking forward to getting on with that more fully again. I have been on the ministry team in delivering two funerals, which I’ll perhaps tell you about in another post, including the back-stage ‘tour’ I had at the crematorium after my first one. That was an amazing experience, fascinating and reassuring in equal measure. There is no need for families to worry that their loved one will be mixed up with someone else, or that the staff won’t be careful etc because the system behind the scenes is like a military operation and is done with the utmost care and compassion.

There’s been a lot on at band too recently, which I’ve managed to juggle reasonably well. I was invited to conduct Lees Band on Whit Friday and my own band of Todmorden Community Brass Band has been rather occupied too. It really has been a mad couple of months!

Me with the board carriers at Lydgate with the Lees Band in the background
Me with the board carriers at Lydgate with the Lees Band in the background

 

Todmorden Band at Salem Fields in Hebden Bridge. The sun burst out just after this photo was taken and I have been burned to a crisp on my conducting arm and neck. Ouch!
Todmorden Band at Salem Fields in Hebden Bridge. The sun burst out just after this photo was taken and I have been burned to a crisp on my conducting arm and neck. Ouch!

I’ve got a couple of weeks of invigilation coming up now, but I have got a couple of writing projects I want to work on and can’t wait to have the time to start properly.

So there you have it. It’s been busy, it is still busy, and it’s going to stay busy. But there’s now room for creativity and reflection as well, which makes for a happier Pam and a calmer Pam too.

Onward, always onward!

 

 

Getting there…


I have felt like I’m in a spinning vortex with my studies recently, and have been totally overwhelmed with the workload, reading and assignment avalanche I’ve had since Christmas. Whoever thought that doing two level 3 courses in one year obviously had a screw loose when they suggested it to me.

Oh hang on a minute. I’m responsible for that all by myself. Humph.

But, there is good news. Hurrah!

I had a tutorial today for my Children’s Lit course, and for once, I actually felt I could contribute something useful to the group discussion. Is it finally sinking in? Am I finally getting there??

I managed to skim read through three critical essays this morning before I went and even though I felt my eyes were glazing over I retained much of what I’d just read and it was useful to understand the background of what the tutor was talking about as she was speaking, and not where I had to go over my notes eighty times before I could even begin to think about where she was coming from. Yes, it feels like I’m getting there.

The assignment I submitted on Tuesday has been marked and I got it back tonight and guess what? Not only did I manage to reach the pass mark (40 is a pass 4, and the minimum to say ‘I’ve passed’), but I nearly doubled it. Wow, yes, I got 75! That’s a clear pass 2 and my overall average for this module now is safely in the pass 2 zone, which is the equivalent of a 2:1 as we speak. Exciting times and yes, I’m definitely getting there.

And now that I’m working on assignment number 5 of 6 for both modules and with only the end of module assessment to be done after that I am starting to feel like my toes are touching the bottom and I can poke my nose through the surface to breathe a little.

Oh it feels good to be getting there!

getting there

Signs There Is An Assignment Deadline Looming


You probably know by now that I am studying for my degree with the Open University – I might have mentioned it once or twice. You might know too that I am taking two level 3 modules this year to complete my BA Hons degree in Humanities with Literature as a specialism – I think that fact has slipped out now and again.

But you probably didn’t know that when it comes to assignment deadline day (or TMA day if you are a fellow OU-er) I completely stress out and go through all seven levels of hell of self-doubt, tears, tantrums, brain freeze, conviction of failure, loss of sleep and threats to quit before reaching the point where I can apply pen to paper and cobble together some notes to form the basis of an essay.

don't sweat it

Well that is what usually happens but this time, crikey, it was so much worse I really nearly did get to the point of throwing in the towel. I didn’t do that, and I did manage to write a fairly decent 2000 word essay answering a ridiculous rubric about how twentieth century children’s literature reflected a middle-class readership (or not) and get it submitted on time. But not without hiccup, which is unusual for me.

I had to ask for an extension because I have had a particularly lengthy spell of renal and biliary colic which meant that I couldn’t sit up for any length of time and the painkillers I was taking affected my concentration to the point where I could only read a paragraph or two before I fell asleep. So instead of submitting on time last Thursday I had until midnight tonight to submit it. And thankfully, I’ve done it, but there are a few signs around the house that it has been a stressful couple of weeks.

One of my delaying tactics when I don’t want to (or can’t face) settling down to an assignment is to go on a cleaning spree. The bathroom is never cleaner than when deadline day is looming, and the towels and face-cloths etc are all nicely folded and lined up beautifully in the linen cupboard too. The kitchen usually has an extra coat of ‘clean’ applied to it and if the subject matter is particularly tricky, or if the question is a bit more in depth than I think I can handle then the stairs usually get a double brush and a vacuuming too.

But this time none of that got done. I’ve been too poorly to even think about housework, even as a means of distraction and just look at the pile of ironing that has built up waiting for me…

 

 

DSC_0075

 

ARGH!!! It’s like an explosion in a laundrette in the corner of my room! I’ll probably tackle that lot tomorrow while I catch up on some of the TV I haven’t been able to watch. By my reckoning I’ve got at least 3 episodes of Happy Valley, 2 of Call The Midwife, both of the Night Manager and the first of Who Do You Think You Are sitting on the box for me to watch. Do you think all that will be long enough to keep me occupied while I do some ironing?!

You might have noticed too that so far this year I have been doing a ‘postaday2016’, which basically says what it does – I’m posting something each day this year. Except yesterday when I failed miserably because I was too entrenched in OU work to look over the parapet before midnight. Ah well, at least it was the extra day and I will still have 365 posts by the end of the year!

But hang on a minute, I’ve still got TMA05, TMA06 and an EMA to do for both modules still before the end of May. Oh boy…I had best get a couple of posts ready to publish when deadline days are looming again so I can keep my record. I only wish the ironing would stay done and the bathroom would stay clean too.

studying-meme