Monday, 27 April 2015

Dementia Friends

Last week I attended a lecture, as part of interprofessional learning, about communication and distressed behaviours in dementia.  To be honest I have not had first hand experience of caring for somebody with dementia, but I wanted to be prepared for helping patients I am treating.  Obviously from the perspective of a radiographer there are issues of consent with a patient who has dementia and also getting them to stay still for the procedure or treatment.  Thankfully this lecture was very informative and I now feel more able to help a patient with dementia.  Taking time to understand this illness has helped me enormously and I really hope that a similar lecture is available for health students nationwide.  As the future NHS workforce we should be better informed, even if we are not directly involved in the day to day care of a patient with dementia.  Also in the future I will be checking if patients with dementia have a 'This is Me' book with them, to ensure I can find ways to make the treatment less distressing.

Perhaps you are reading this and thinking I am not a health professional, but I want to know more. Maybe you have a family member or friend recently diagnosed.  Whilst there is a wealth of information available on the internet, provided by the various charities, I wanted to point you in the direction of a new initiative from the Alzheimers Society.  Dementia Friends offer you the chance to find out more about the illness and how to help people with dementia.  Lets all help make this an understood illness to make life less distressing for those diagnosed.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Retraining : The Final Push


In just six weeks time I will have officially finished my course. All assignments will be submitted, final exams completed, clinical placement finished and competencies achieved.  Yet this seems like the hardest part.  Having handed in my dissertation in the middle of March, I am struggling to get motivated for this final push.  I have one assignment to write, a verbal exam, or OSCD as we call them and four weeks of clinical time left.  With only three competencies left to complete, which will be done the first week back after assessment week, I can just get stuck in without worrying about achieving any competencies.  

Knowing that I am almost there is exciting and scary, especially as I have applied for my first job.  So now I just need to get motivated, complete the final requirements, then I can enjoy some time at home before I start my new career.  

Have a lovely weekend and until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Life Is Better With Cake

#betterwithcake
Outdoor Adventures


Yes I know that I like to promote a healthy lifestyle but it is true, life really is better with cake.  Over the past couple of weeks having the children at home has meant there have probably been more cake days than normal in our house.  After a trip to the park with a nice cup of tea, eaten at the forest after a rambling walk along the pathways between the trees and ferns or on warm sunny days on the beach with a picnic. My favourite time to sit and enjoy cake is after I have spent hours gardening and I sit with a cup of tea and usually a couple of the children, in the garden, admiring the view of my tidier flower beds and freshly mown lawn. 

#betterwithcake

There is something very comforting about a slice of cake, and we all love to bake but sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day so this is when I rely on Mr Kipling to provide that sweet treat.  

I am sure you will all agree life really is better with cake.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

This post is an entry for #betterwithcake Linky Challenge (http://bit.ly/betterwithcake), sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at   https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Summer of Festivals - Camp Bestival

There is a hint of warmer days ahead and with thoughts of summer we are starting to think about where we will be pitching our tent this summer.  Obviously I won't have the same degree of flexibility this summer as I start my new career, but panic not, I will be taking some annual leave to head to a festival or two with Andy and our children.  So I thought over the next few weeks I would share some of our favourites and those we want to try.


Camp Bestival is top of our list again this year, with a line up to rival previous years and a theme that is really exciting for us.  Being outdoors, enjoying the wild has been part of our lives for years so the Wild theme of our favourite festival is of course perfect, nevermind that Michaela Strachan and Steve Backshall being there and of course we loved the National Trust activities last year, especially climbing that huge tree.  So undoubtedly we will be heading to Dingly Dell early on the Friday! Of course the music line up is important too, there is always music on in our house and we all love sharing new finds and old tunes with each other.  With the Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit and Ella Henderson included in the line up, everyone is happy, but for me it has to be Soul II Soul.  This band is the sound of the summers of my sixth form days.  Immediately I am taken back to the hazy days of being a teenager, planning my escape via university, lazing around with friends, just chilling and knowing that this hacienda will end again soon as our studies transplant us around the country.  


Obviously there is a plethora of other acts and activities, with the comedy line up press release landing in my inbox yesterday, including Marcus Brigstocke, Matt Richardson and Kerry Godliman. And with the promise of more acts to be announced I am sure Camp Bestival is heading for it's best year yet.  

To find out more about Camp Bestival or to book tickets, go on you know you want to....head over to the website...on your marks, get set go....www.campbestival.net

Have a fabulous weekend and until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

A Sporty School Holiday



This holiday I decided to take some time out for the first week, enjoying some family time, catching up on jobs around the house after being lost in my dissertation since Christmas.  Making time to do things with the children was also a priority as my weekends in recent weeks have been spent trying to stay on top of the housework and working on my research.  So I asked the girls what they wanted to do as the boys are busy revising for AS and GCSE exams.  With a great sports centre just a ten minute drive away that offers a varied programme during school holidays they planned which sessions to try. 

Rollerskating is always top of the list, so of course we went along to this, whizzing round a sports hall turned into a roller-disco for 90 minutes is great fun.  With skate hire included in the price it didn't matter that only Kitty's skates still fit.  Also roller skating is still a cool activity for teenage girls, so much so that Lucy asked to bring along a friend.  Next up was an athletics session, you may have seen my trackside photo (above) on Instagram earlier this morning.  For weeks make that months, Amber and Kitty have been asking to try these sessions, which also take place every Saturday.  So I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to have a taster session before being more committed to  chilly Saturday mornings trackside.  They both really enjoyed this morning and I think I will now be heading to the track more often! 

Tomorrow we will be heading back for a racket sports session. A combination of badminton, squash and tennis will mean the girls get a good all round idea of each of these sports.  Lucy already plays badminton regularly and Kitty has been wanting to try it properly for ages.  Apparently playing badminton in the garden doesn't count as a real game!  Amber is intrigued by squash and so I am hoping she isn't disappointed.

Are you lucky enough to have a great sports centre nearby?  Which sports have your children been trying during this school holiday?  I would love to hear, may even offer inspiration for the summer hols!

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo



Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The Big 4-0!


Yes it is true, today I turn 40! I can't quite believe I am at this milestone birthday already but also have felt ready for it for a while.  In all honesty I am really excited to be entering a new decade. After a lot of soul searching and decision making during my thirties I now feel comfortable in my own skin and ready to be grown up, well a little bit more.  With my children getting older, everything gets a bit easier. Most of them are teenagers and yes that has it's own new set of problems, but touch wood, so far, we are doing ok. 

So my hair is a little greyer, (nothing a little dye can't hide), there are few more lines on my face, ( to show that I have enjoyed life)but I am happy, really happy. I have a wonderful husband and five amazing children who make me laugh everyday. In the next few weeks I will qualify as a therapeutic radiographer and embark on a new career, which is exciting and yes a little scary too.  I am truly blessed and am going to embrace this new decade, as maybe life does begin at 40, or just keeps getting better.

Have a lovely day and until next time take care.
Zoe
xo

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Making Plans


For the past week or so there has been a sense that Spring is just around the corner.  It's starting to get light when I leave the house at 6am and it is still light as I head to my car after a long day shift at 5.30pm.  These longer days make me feel less tired and also mean on the days I am at the hospital on placement I actually see daylight!  Also with my dissertation almost completed with less than three weeks until hand in day, I am starting to make plans.  

Thankfully I will have two weeks off for the Easter holidays, to rest and recuperate or actually to bake, get out in the garden, take some time to try some new recipes for dinners, read the pile of magazines I subscribe to that I have neglected.  All the things I love but because of my dissertation have been limited.  Suddenly I will have time again! Yes I need to revise for my exam at the beginning of May and think about my final assignment. But I am also going to make time to do all the other things I love.  My word for this year is embrace and so far I have encompassed this in everything I have done.  So for the Easter holidays I am going to embrace the fact that I have some free time.  This is really important to me as I will hopefully be starting a full time job from July, once qualified, so this is effectively my last lazy student break.  

Aswell as making the most of the Easter hols we are starting, as a family, to think about the Summer.  Plans for the agrden are taking shape, decorating jobs are being planned and we are hoping to head back to Lulworth Castle for Camp Bestival.  This is our favourite weekend of the year, a time we all can switch off our phones and enjoy some uninterrupted family time.  Another job on my list for the Easter hols is to finally sort out the photos from last years Camp Bestival to pop into frames of create some fun collages.  

Are you busy making plans now the days are getting longer?  I would love to hear what you have planned.

Until next time, take care.
Zoe
xo