Wednesday, 30 July 2008

What kind of blogger are you, and what kind would you like to be?

This is a question I have been pondering about myself lately. I never set out to write a blog - I'd tried many times in my childhood to write a diary and because of my excessively detailed descriptions my hand began to ache so much I'd get fed up and quit!!

You see, I had quite happily become an internet addict - surfing the web for information, stories, ways to amuse myself, new friends etc - in fact for a long while I spent more time talking to my online friends than I did my real friends because my uni work meant I was on the computer so often it was just too easy to log onto the forum I was a member of. Yet I never really discovered the world of blogging until my final year at uni.

I was looking for information on possible child-related careers and stumbled upon a blog following a link about Hypnobirthing - from then on I followed blogroll after blogroll and I was hooked. At first I was a lurker - then with de-lurking week (or whatever it's called!) I came out and began commenting on a regular basis. Eventually, I decided to start my own blog - why? Well let's see...

First of all I thought it'd be cool that the people whose blogs I commented on knew who I was - hey if they are sharing their world with me, why shouldn't I share mine? I find nothing more frustrating than reading interesting or amusing comments on someone's blog and having no link to follow to find out who this person is and how I can find more witty and useful writings from them!!

Secondly - I love writing. Period. I always have and always will.

Thirdly - and perhaps most importantly AND most dangerously - I love making new friends, I love receiving mail/comments and I love to feel like my life and ponderings are interesting enough for people to drop by, read and leave me a comment.

Why is this so dangerous? Well because it can become a bit obsessive - am I writing things people will want to read? Is anybody actually reading this or am I talking to myself ? Even more worrying is asking myself, "what kind of blogger am I and what kind of blogger do I want to be?

To answer this I cannot help but look at the blogs I return to again and again - why do I do this and only frequent other blogs every now and then? And do I have these qualities myself or am I completely different? Do I wish I were more like them or do I like my own style? Let's see:

Most frequented blogs:

ReDinkyDink - one of the first blogs I ever found and I cannot tell you why I like it so much I just do

Sugar and Ice - I just love Chas and her posts - so honest and open and down-to-earth - and who could not love the updates about LG?

Cherry Menlove's Blog - well what can I say? I just love Cherry's blog (like so many of her readers - you only have to look at her comments lis to see how popular she is!) I cannot help but feel nostalgic and at the same time dream of the future I hope I'll have when I read about Cherry's homemaking

Hola Isabel - this was another one of the first blogs I found but I didn't read much until this year because Isabel just seemed way too cool for the likes of me! But I just love her sass, humour and style so much that I am now hooked!

I have been a regular reader of other blogs at different times as my life has changed but these 4 have remained regular ones so much so that I know the addresses well enough to just type into my web browser without relying on my favourites list!

Am I anything like them? Well, not really - I am not really very sassy and although I have a good sense of humour it doesn't quite translate onto the page. I would love to post about homemaking bits and pieces I have spent my day doing but I just never have the time (to do them in the first place, I mean). And I do not have a family - so no posts about gorgeous children. Yet I just love these blogs...

So what kind of blogger am I? I guess I'm honest - too honest sometimes - I think sometimes it'd be better to write to you about some of the beautiful walks T and I have been on and the cakes I baked, and the day we spent with T's niece and the collage we are currently making from old Country Living magazines. But I always seem to end up writing about what is running round my head, what is stressing me etc. Don't get me wrong - I am happy to share these with you all - but is it really what you want to read?!

I suddenly realised this weekend that I hadn't written a Sacred Sunday posting in such a long time, I hadn't visited some of my favourite blogs in ages, I hadn't posted any pictures from our wanderings... and I want to do this. Since being ill and having time to sit and be I realised I needed to change the whole perspective of my life - which started off this whole train of thought... I guess it's not just what kind of blogger I am but who I am and who I want to be.

So tell me, as I continue to ponder this, what kind of blogger are you and what kind of blogger did you set out to be or want to be? And does this equate to who you are in real life?

Sunday, 27 July 2008

I am not married, I am divorced!

No, not really!

I've been learning Italian with this weekend. I already knew a few bits from a handful of lessons and a trip over there but I decided if I'm going to be working in the Tourist Information Centre here in Cambridge I may as well take the opportunity to refresh my love of languages. I am already quite fluent in German, and although rusty my Russian won't take too long to brush up. My French needs some work, so that's next on the list, along with Spanish - but Italian is a language I have ALWAYS loved - it is so bouncy and fun!

The lessons are so easy and fun from this site - you learn in context and the words and phrases are repeated so often in each lesson that you cannot help but learn them. This I love!! I spent many years learning languages (11 years in total from starting secondary school through to graduating!) and often became frustrated by how little I was learning. You just cannot learn from lists alone - so I love that these podcasts are so easy. What amuses me the most, however, is that I know how to say I am not married, I am divorced but I still don't know any numbers or how to ask for directions hehe!

It's been great been able to download these podcasts for free and upload them onto T's iPod - it meant I could take a walk yesterday on the common and listen to the lessons in the beautiful weather - I did get a few funny looks when I was repeating the phrases though *blushes* It probably helps that with this weather I feel like I'm in Italy hehe

It's also been good to do because it means I can just listen and respond - no needing to look at books or go anywhere - great for while I'm still recovering from this ear infection - and on top of all that my nursery are setting up a link with a nursery in Italy we have several Italian families and workers at the nursery) and if I'm gonna keep contact with them whilst also working at the Tourist Info it'll be a really handy language to learn - plus who could resist a visit to Italy, for educational purposes, of course!!

Have a wonderful week all!
Ciao ciao!
Amanda xx

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Thought I'd better...

post an update to my earlier post - I was feeling rather sorry for myself at that particular point in time, so please excuse the tone of it! So I thought I'd leave you with some highlights of my life recently- just to lighten the blog a bit:

1) Seeing the children from both nurseries perform a production on space this weekend - yes that includes the 5 month old baby holding a sun whilst on stage!!! Some of the kids were just so darn cute - running to the front and waving to their parents hehe - and I was so emotional watching them (I wasn't able to take part 'cos of the lights and could actally only watch half of it but I had seen it in the rehearsals anyway). Can you imagine it - they all came on to the theme from Star Trek, danced to Star Trekkin', Space Pirates, and loads of other space-y classics!

2) Cleaning up poo from the carpet - this is an actual highlight because you know why? However much I'm gonna miss the nursery I know without a doubt that I will not miss cleaning up piles of poo whilst trying to keep the other babies from touching/crawling in it *ew*

3) Finding out my friend from school had her first baby the other day - by emergency c section but both are ok and baby was born weighing 8lb 5 and a half oz - not bad to say she was a few days early too!

4) Watching films such as Fairytale and Dances With Wolves (still working on getting T to watch A Walk To Remember and hoping to get a copy of Seven Years in Tibet and Dead Poets' Society) I think we might watch The Color Purple next :o)

5) Discovering the joys of South Park! I'd never watched South Park before meeting T (we watched a few episodes the first weekend we both realised we felt more for each other than friendship and didn't want to go to bed hehe). We watched the movie the other night and then discovered that T had a load of episodes on dvd too - maybe it's cos I watch them with T but I always thought South Park was weird at best and downright rubbish at worst but now I seem to have caught the bug!

6) Making blackcurrant jam from the blackcurrants in my dad's garden and this year having T to share the mixing with, meaning my arm didn't get half as tired!!

7) Taking evening strolls down the common and seeing the bunny rabbits bobbing along with their cotton-wool tails and meeting the cows whilst trying to fight our way through the thistles to the more hidden places where we could meditate in peace *sigh*

8) Hand-making a gift-book for my uncle's birthday - with each page a line from a poem all about him, and choosing the photos to go with each bit :oD

9) Talking to T about what sort of wedding we'll have when we decide to get married (no we are NOT getting married... yet... but we will... one day!) It's so much fun thinking of what we'll do and where we'll have it and what we'll make our guests wear (hehehehe). We're thinking simple but fun - like a magician who wanders the crowds instead of a band, ring toss and other such village fete games instead of making everyone dance (though dancing WILL be allowed lol), and potted plants instead of cut flowers, so that everyone (well not everyone but every family maybe) can take one home as a memento. I'll carry flowers though - don't think carrying a potted fern or cactus would have quite the same effect as a lovely bunch of wildflowers somehow - however classy the pot was :op

Oooh thinking of these things doesn't half make me smile! *Note to self - you're not engaged yet tee hee hee*

10) Playing pranks on T - omg I am SO bad at this!! Once I hid in the cupboard in our bedroom, but when I jumped out it lacked force and he so didn't jump. So I did it again, making sure he saw me go in and making him think I'd left and so next time he looked in I jumped out and scare the heck out of him!! Ooooh and putting crystals at the foot of the bed, so when he gets in his toe touches it and he yelps... oh I am so evil!!!! But it doesn't half make me laugh - and gets him back for all those times he tickled me. Btw I've now discovered his tickly spots too so I am right back on top of the master of tickling - nevermore shall I be at his mercy when I know exactly where to hit him back :oD

Maybe I shouldn't have added that last one - you probably all think I'm just plain nuts now... but you'd be right so I guess it doesn't really matter!!

I definately feel better after thinking of those good times - gotta remember the good times!!

Have a lovely evening
Amanda xx

New job

It's been a long few weeks (months even) and I feel really weak and fragile right now... I'm much better than I was (i.e. I'm not dizzy every second of the day) and have made it back to work each morning (5 hours per day) last week and yesterday but I spent most of the weekend laying around and had to call in sick today because no matter how much I sleep I am just so exhausted and light-headed. I think it's probably worse right now because I got my period and they are getting worse each month now too *sigh*

On top of all this feeling rubbish I was offered a new job. You'd think that'd be great, right? Well it is... but it took me a long time to make the decision to take it - it was a really hard decision to make!! My nursery was offering to make me pre-school leader and there was the opportunity to work part-time and gain a diploma in pre-school care. But then we found out that T's Carpal Tunnel is not bad enough to warrant treatment since it got better when he left plumbing so he now has to retrain in a whole new career. Which means I'm gonna be the main breadwinner for a good few more years yet - meaning however good the opportunities at the nursery sound I have to move on.

Since making the decision I have grown happier with it. I've arranged with the nursery owner to set up some language classes with the pre-school, so I can keep a hand in childcare once a week - who knows where it might lead in the future. I can do this because I'll be working 4 hours less per week in my new job so adding an extra hour is really nothing!! We'll just see how it goes!

So, assuming my health questionnaire goes through without too much hassle and my references check out ok I'll be receiving my official offer soon and handing in my official notice. So by September I'll be the new information assistant at the council's tourist information centre. Great way to use my languages, huh?!

In other news, T and I were looking at houses and despairing over how we'll never be able to afford anywhere bigger than we are now and I happened to look at the house prices in Lincoln (where my parents live). We pay over £600 per month on rent here - that's for a 1 bed flat. We could get an actual house for just over £400 per month in Lincoln - if we paid the same as we pay here we could even have a mortgage on a 2 or 3 bed semi-detached house up there!!! It's quite depressing - so we've decided that when things settle down a bit (i.e. I've got myself settled in the council I'll look for a transfer to the local council up north and then move back there. That way we might now just be able to afford a home but also afford to have kids!!)

Right - enough feeling sorry for myself - I've got the whole day to sit in bed and do nothing - problem is I find doing nothing so hard :o( I think I might go surf the net!

Have a lovely day - I'll be back to posting nicer things soon, I hope!!

Monday, 7 July 2008

The room's been spinning...

..and no I haven't been at the alcohol!

Just thought I'd post a quick update to explain my absence the past few days - I woke up on Wednesday morning (the day of my first holiday since starting this new job and trip to see my parents) to find the room spinning uncontrollably. I spent the rest of that day throwing up and trying to sleep sitting up because every time I lay down the room began to spin yet again 0 *bleugh*

We finally got the doc out at about 6pm to find I had an inner ear infecton (labyrinthitis or something like that) and that this was causing the dizziness and vertigo. She gave my anti-nausea tablets which actually hlped enough for me to fall asleep propped up in an almost sitting position.

Since then I have gradually got better but I am still feeling dizzy and sick and had to stop the anti-nausea tablets because they were giving my insomnia *sigh* and as I was so ill I couldn't even watch tv or read or even look at T for long enough for a decent conversation sleep was my only blessing from days spent looking at the ceiling and counting the hours tick by (this was incredibly hard for me as I am usually on the go all the time!)

I missed my holiday and have called in sick today - we've been taking short evening walks to get me out and about and T's parents came round yesterday and it made me so dizzy concentrating on more than one person that the idea of working in a room full of children all demanding my attention fills me with dread right now - I doubt I'll be back before Thursday at the earliest as even the doctor said although the inital symptoms will go within a week I'll have ongoing dizziness for several weeks *sigh*

But I do believe in everything happens for a reason - this has made me STOP. I'm so busy doing things, even in my planned holiday, that I never stop and just be. I've had to do this and I am beginning to get over my immense boredom and see the beauty in just being. I am also now 100% sure I want to leave the nursery as I just cannot carry on in a place where I can get so ill and not be able to return to work and get no sick pay - I have an interview on Friday at the tourist information centre which is huge in a place like Cambridge. It's working for the council so that brings added benefits and it's more pay for less hours and less responsibility - *whoo*. With my multiple language skills and experience of being a tourist and also foreign worker in several countries I'm hoping I have a real good chance at this role - and it is one I feel I might enjoy as much as childcare as I find tourism highly interesting and always have done (hence my travelling and degree choice).

So please bear a good thought for me on Friday and also that my workplace will be as understanding as they were last week when I ring in sick for their busiest two days of the week.

I'll be back to posting and commenting properly as soon as I feel more normal - but for now know that I am thinking of you all (even though I may not have commented on your blog for ages now I still think of every one of you and wonder how things are going!)