The furry girls and I have arrived back in our calm home after the Christmas extravaganza.
First just to mention, I got a pan set for Christmas. People seem to think this is the equivalent of a husband buying the wife an iron but I'm happy with my pans. The set I had allegedly had heat resistant handles, this was a lie. The handles were sort of painted black, they always got hot but when the paint layer washed off they got worse. The dogs think cooking involved doing a dance around the kitchen before plunging your hand into cold water. I love my new pans, my blistered hands will be most grateful.
Anyway, my Christmas was mixed up. My little brother and his girlfriend went to her house first so I decided we couldn't open presents without him. This was selfish, I didn't want my brother to have presents to open when I didn't. So we got up and looked at the presents sitting all pretty in their Christmas paper. Had breakfast and then went to my Gran's house.
We have gone to my Gran's on Christmas morning every year of my life. The whole of her family still go every year to exchange presents, some stay for dinner. This bit wasn't so good. My gran got out of hospital on Christmas eve but during the night she had been ill and was really unwell while we were there. I got to go and see her and she looked very old and very sick. She could barely speak or open her eyes. She ended up going back into hospital later in the day because she was so bad. It made the day a bit sad and a lot of us had a tear or two. I visited her in hospital before I came home and she was much, much better. I think coming home was too much, she was only allowed out for two days because it was Christmas, the hospital let her make the choice and I think she pushed herself too hard. They have found that she still has some infection in her bowel but we don't know what they are going to do yet.
My bother and his girlfriend didn't have their children this year, they were both at the other parents. This lead to the decision to give my mum the day off and go out for lunch, a first. It was really nice but not the same as your mum's Christmas dinner, I suppose everyone has their own way of doing it.
After lunch it was home for presents! Obviously I got my pans. I also got perfume, some nice bath things and some choccies!
My favourite present (I got on Christmas eve) was from Mr Midnite, a lovely chunky charm bracelet and the first charm for my new collection. I think he may have had a little bit of help picking out just what I would like.
But, and prepare to be jealous, the ginger furry girl Star got the best present ever. She got her very own bright pink doggy handbag, complete with squeaker. It is so cute. This isn't quite the same but it gives the idea. I'll snap her with it and post soon.
NB. Pictures have been stolen from Juicy Couture, go and see their lovely things at their lovely website. Of course they don't ship to the UK so if you want some you need to be inventive, scour the Internet until you find a place that will ship or (I'd avoid this option if you can) pay the prices charged in the UK.
My family had a really nice Christmas even though we were worried about my Gran, it was lovely to see everyone and spend some time together catching up. I hope you all had happy holidays with your families. Now onwards to 2011.
I have been thinking about things, not always the best idea but apparently the off button on my brain is missing. Anyway one of the things that I was thinking about was how things haven't been going very well for me recently. If you read my blog you will know I've had neighbour trouble, car trouble, redundancies at work and my gran is ill. These thoughts could easily have become a self pitying path to depression but they weren't.
Instead I was thinking about how well I have been handling these things. I have been stressed, upset and angry but not to the extreme. I have been able to carry on with my life, going out, working and seeing friends while these unpleasant things were going on. Not so very long ago I wouldn't have coped with these things, it could have gone two ways. I would either have stressed myself into a manic mess where I would likely have gone a bit crazy with excessive going out and shopping, remember the handbags? Or, I would have plummeted into a major depression and stayed in bed.
Mr Midnite would tell me that the bad things have been sent to show me I can cope. It is easier to be positive when everything is good, the challenge is to stay positive when things aren't. I used to get depressed sometimes for no reason so if something did happen I had no chance. Now I have difficult things in my life and I still feel OK.
Not sure if I'm explaining this very well?
Anyway to reach the pearls from today's title. I have a charm bracelet and I buy myself the occasional charm that means something. I have a little heart to remind me to love myself and a little dog to remind me to be happy. I went into the shop today to try and find something to signify turning negatives to positives. I had no idea when I went in what that would be I just knew something would be there that would represent what I wanted. I browsed the shop for a while and then spotted just the thing.
When I saw it I immediately thought of how pearls are formed by the shelled creatures. A little piece of dirt gets stuck inside and causes irritation so the creature forms a pearl to protect itself. From an irritation it produces a thing of beauty. A positive from a negative. Perfect!
I have tried hard to be good all year so I thought I'd write and ask you for a present. For Christmas please could you make my Gran better.
Dear blogger friends
I'm sorry I can't write much today. I am trying hard to be positive and not let things get me down but my Gran is very ill. She is in hospital with a perforated bowel. They are trying something first but if that doesn't work she will need major surgery. I am really worried about her, she is in her 80s and has a bad heart. I'm too far away to visit easily. I want to go and see my family but with the current situation at work I don't think I'll be able to. It is one of the rare times when I wish I wasn't so far from my family.
Please send positive thoughts (or pawsitivity).
I’m in my cell and I don’t know when I’m going to get out. I am scared and lonely and I don’t know what is going to happen to me. I am asking myself, how did I end up in here?
It was a lovely day so we decided to go to the beach, we all piled into the car and set off. When we get there it is gorgeous. We were walking along the sand, laughing and talking.
Then suddenly I was naked, I don’t know how it happened!
And I’m running, running so fast no one can keep up with me. They are far behind me and when I turn I can see them waving at me. I shout that I am OK.
I’m still running. I feel so free, the wind and the sun are on my face and my body and it makes me feel alive. I can taste and smell the sea air, salty and clean. Life is great, I love it.
Then there are hands on me and a man is saying “what have we got here?” I try to explain but he isn’t listening. I think he is angry with me. I’m put into the back of a van and we are driving again. I shout a bit but no one is listening so I sit and wait to see where we are going.
We arrive at a building and the men take me inside. I am judged to be bad and put in a cell. I look around and wonder how long I need to stay here. I lie on the bed and go to sleep for a while. When I wake up someone is bringing me food. We talk for a bit “how are you?” “I’m OK, can I go outside now?” “Here’s your dinner.” I eat my food but it’s not as good as home. I have a drink and then go back to sleep.
I’m bored there is nothing to do here. I am pacing my cell and trying to see if anything is happening. There are others here too. I can hear them. I try talking but no one answers.
Then I hear someone crying “I want to go home, please let me out I want to go home”, I agree but I’m not going to cry. Other voices join in and I add mine, shouting not crying.
I sleep some more, I don’t like it here. The food is not good and it smells bad, clean on top but wrong underneath. I wait and wait for someone to come.
And then they are there at my door, my family. Someone opens the cell and I step out. They are hugging me and kissing me saying “good boy, it’s alright” and it is because my family have found me. I wag my tail and roll on my back to have my belly rubbed and I realise that life is perfect.
This is repost from the beginning of my blog. I don't think many people read it, I like it so I thought I'd share it again. Hope you like it too.
We had a meeting at work today, it was supposed to be last week but was snowed off. I was surprised they rearranged it as the CEO came over from the US for it last week. Suppose this should have been a sign.
The meeting started with a stuttered thank you for efforts made to get to work and keep things going through the bad weather. Then we were told that they are looking at closing 2 of the 4 Scottish sites, one of those is the site I'm based at. Merry Christmas, great timing! They are starting a 90 day consultation to decide what they are going to do but the worst and most likely case is that they will close. Basically there has been a change in focus in the industry and there is less demand for the work done on these sites. An affect of the global economic down turn.
I suppose I have respect for the CEO for coming and telling us the news in person rather than leaving it to our local managers.
After that we had a group meeting and were told the our team are a global rather than a site resource so there is a possibility that we can move to other sites within Scotland.
Later the head of human resources for Europe came and told the team that there would be positions available at the other sites for anyone who wants one.
Roller coaster! I think I started feeling like maybe this is the kick in the butt I need to go and get a different job, use my MBA. Then I moved to feeling angry, I and others on our sites have put in so much work. We have turned work away because parts of the business were too busy but lost staff because other areas were quiet. I have been fighting to get work done due to lack of resource yet apparently we are not doing enough and there is no work out there. I'm not a business analyst but I have to say I find it hard to understand. After that I moved on to sad, I looked at some of my colleagues and thought I'll miss them, I like a lot of them.
Finding out we were safe is great and yes I'll be able to pay my mortgage but I'm still upset about all my friends (including best friend girl) who are unlikely to be so lucky. I'm upset that they are throwing away all the effort people have put in and all the skills and talent that the staff have.
Many in my team were saying that people are going to hate us when they find out we are going to be moved rather than made redundant. They were saying that it is going to be really stressful and difficult to get work completed. Maybe I am naive but I think most people will continue to do a good job until they leave. I'm sure the stress will show through and some will make comments about us but I don't think many will hate us. I could list the people who will be difficult now. I feel really bad for all the other people I work with, I'm gutted that this is happening to them. The people I work with have made my job enjoyable and have helped me deal with the stress. I will miss them a lot and although I'll get used to the people at the new site it won't be the same as working with the ones who where there when I didn't have a clue.
I don't know how I feel just now, probably just sad. The advantage of taking an antidepressant (that for random reasons acts as a mood stabiliser for me) is the automatic cushion to bad news. I know its bad but the reaction is reduced. Thank Lilly for Cymbalta, without which I would be a crying heap of depression tonight.
Think I'll go to bed now and see what tomorrow brings, not really looking forward to it.
Yesterday Scotland ground to a complete halt due to a few more flakes of the white stuff. It started to snow pretty early in the morning and continued on until late afternoon. The snow let most people get to work before it really bedded in for the day leading to major problems for people getting home. To add to the snow we had some chilly sub zero temperatures just to make it more interesting. The major roads between Edinburgh and Glasgow turned into car parks and some people spent last night in their cars. One hour journeys turned into epic adventure reminiscent of lord of the rings. Children stayed over night in schools and some people had to sleep at work.
The snow was bad, it came down fast and although the weather forecasters are saying they warned us I never saw any prediction of this snow. I was trying to work out with my dad how long it is since we had winters like this and last years. There are pictures of me as a toddler standing on snow that was up to our garage roof. We lived on a hill and usually got worse snow than the surrounding areas. This was probably about 30 years ago and since then our winters have been mild. I guess what I'm saying is that the UK seems to be totally unprepared for snow and icy temperatures now.
Work was closed today for the second time in two weeks, great a snow day but with the economic issues the last thing we need is to lose two days in addition to the days when we have been sent home early. I like to think the company is doing OK but like everyone else they haven't had the best results recently. What damage will a bad winter do to us. Is this something that can be fixed by a few extra bags of grit and a nice new snow plough.
I watched the unfolding chaos from my cosy sofa as I waited for the nice breakdown people to come and fix my car. Called them at 8am and was told there was a 6 hour wait, they turned up at 10.30pm. Twenty minutes later my car had a new battery and was back in the land of the operating vehicles. I would moan about the cost but I'm really just pleased it's fixed, I love my car.
Anyway my final snow and transport related comments are about the Santa train, I took some pictures during our trip out to see Santa on Sunday, I'm very pleased with this one:
It was a lovely old steam train and when we stopped at the North Pole there was a bridge allowing the following pictures:
At least this train was running unlike most of them in Scotland.
I love taking pictures but most of them don't turn out how I think they should, I possibly need to invest in a better camera, but these I like.
I worked from home today. The weather is still bad, we had about 8 hours of snow today causing traffic chaos. I didn't know this was going to happen yesterday when I made the work decision. I was waiting for someone to come and look at my broken car. It seemed like a good reason to work from home, I have remote access and an evil Blackberry to ensure I can work from anywhere in the world.
But, I felt guilty because I stayed home. I live close to work and can get in on the bus. But equally I can do my job from home. I felt so guilty I cried. I was sitting thinking everyone would hate me because I stayed home. They will all be talking about me.
Around this time I realised I am slipping into depression. I felt low yesterday and thinking about it there is a definite trend. I think that explains why I have felt so rubbish recently. I had flu and have felt bad since. It's probably because of the time I spent on my own when I was feeling ill, not getting out enough added to the dark gloomy days and you have the ideal growing conditions for a dose of depression.
So to be aware of this is to be armed. I will fight it, the gloom will not win. Will get my depression beating stick out of the cupboard and knock this winter depression on the head, after all there is a lot of winter to go.
Here comes Santa, here comes Santa, tra la la la la.
Just wondering how many people out there dread the whole Christmas thing? I'm not a total Scrooge about to have a big downer on the season of goodwill but there are bits of it that I find really hard.
Today I went with best friends boy and girl and their two boys to see Santa. Had a lovely day out, got home and ended up watching a Christmas movie on TV. All very nice and sentimental but by the end I was crying. Perhaps I forgot my antidepressant this morning?
It made me think about the things I do because it's what is done rather than because I really want to. In the years when I have really struggled with depression the holidays are torture. I always have to paint on the happy face so that my family don't realise how depressed I am. Even on years when I feel OK there are bits of Christmas that I find hard.
Take the work Christmas night out, last year I left really early because I felt like an outsider watching a bunch of mad strangers. Partly this will be because I only drink with people I am very comfortable with, even then its not often I have more than one or two drinks. Drunk people are either funny or, more often really annoying. I was home by 10.30 watching TV with the dogs. The year before I ended up crying then smoked? I've never smoked in my life. Woke up next morning feeling like I'd been licking an ash tray, rubbish night. Most years I end up sitting next to someone I don't have much to do with and I have no idea what to say. I end up just feeling worse and worse until I give up and go home.
This year I decided I wasn't going, that way I won't not enjoy it. But then I ended up feeling guilty because people kept asking me to go and wanting to know why I didn't want to. So now I'm going!
Christmas eve, every year we go to the local pub carol singing night, it's OK but I don't know anyone so I go with my parents and sit with their friends. I always feel like I'm about 10. I'm an intelligent adult, I have conversations all the time, I'm actually hard to shut up but with my parents and their friends I can't think of anything to say and feel totally out of my depth.
The Christmas bit itself I like, I think I'm pretty good at presents and like to buy people stuff they will like. I enjoy the whole giving and receiving bit. I like the dinner and the crappy TV, I like seeing my family.
Boxing day is another big family gathering, this can go either way. Mostly its a great laugh but sometimes I feel out of it and like I don't belong. Because I don't see my family often I get a lot of questions: Do you have a boyfriend? Are you courting? Did you never want to get married? Did you not want children? Excuse me, 35 not 65, I'd like to think I've still time to get round to these things. This year I'm a bit annoyed because the dogs aren't allowed to go for the party, my aunties have taken their dogs along for years but now the decision is that their dogs might not like strange dogs?
I think really I'm just not good with large groups especially if they are people I don't know too well. I think this is something I've always had a problem with and probably why I hate parties. I'm not antisocial I just feel really uncomfortable in these situations.
So entering the holiday season with mixed feelings I'm thinking about the people out there who dread this time of year. Seeing everyone seemingly so happy surrounded by family and friends can be heart breaking when you don't belong to that world. Here's hoping everyone has the holiday that is right for them even if that's sitting watching TV with your furry friends.
Some of you may be aware of the severe weather conditions that we have been experiencing in the UK. For those of you that have real weather let me say we have had a bit of snow, you know a few flakes, just enough to get the ski resorts open. Its about 12 inches of snow in my part of Edinburgh, more on the outskirts.
To those of you who live in tropical climates (or London who I know can't handle snow) we have experienced a short ice age, the country has ground to a halt with airports closed, trains disrupted, schools, colleges and nursery's shut and the roads blocked. Edinburgh's buses using their super powers have ran thoughout the freeze. We have had hail stones that reminded me of the opening of The Day After Tomorrow and have been invaded by an army of dodgy looking snowmen.
The Asbo dogs have been enjoying the snow so I thought I'd share some of their snowy moments:
Star and Sasha in the snow!
When you have wee legs you have to bounce through the snow.
Digging a snow hole
Star, such a poser!
Observe that snow doesn't stick to red fur.
Quick Dog Interval:
Back to the Dog Shots:
Flying Furry/Snow Ball
See what I mean by Snowball?
Can't be comfortable but if you can get them off they would be great for throwing!
This week has been fun apart from the car, the street has been blocked all week but finally I decided to dig the car out, 40 minutes spent clearing snow off the car and digging it's wheels out:
Only to find that it won't start, flat battery I think.
Hope everyone is safe and warm, have a great weekend :0)