Sunday, 8 December 2013

Back to Blogging

I'm back! I have massively missed my blog but circumstances have meant that I had to take it down for a while. However, I can now reinstate it and it feels great to be back. There have been a number of occasions when I have had a random thought or two and thought 'that would be a great blog post' but I just never seemed to have the discipline to jot it down as a draft post.

So, here we are back on-line. I will try to be more disciplined about posting although, I now have a small person running round the house which makes life both more entertaining and more busy, so we shall see!

Latest paintings

Being on adoption leave has many advantages, one of which is that I finally get to attend one of Brian Campbell's painting summer schools; something I have wanted to do for some time. I had one painting which needed to be finished but my main painting came from a photo taken only a few days earlier during our trip to Allonby beach. I expected that this painting would take me most of the three days I had booked, so I was very surprised when I managed to start and finish this in two days, leaving me a day to start another.

Flying a kite (finished):

You can see how it developed here.

Four on the beach:
Source photo

So, having unexpectedly finished an entire painting, I needed to start another. This time I decided to really challenge myself, choosing an image which has lots of fine detail. The final picture is where I got to by the end of my final day. It still needs a good couple of hours work on it.

Mayesbrook pond:
Source photo

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Cutting Back

Matching panel was very positive and brought huge relief as panel were happy to recommend the match. It has lifted an enormous weight from my shoulders and now, knowing who is going to be my child has freed me from the uncertainty of the whole process and allowed me to concentrate on getting everything ready for their arrival.

Finishing up all of my work commitments is obviously a priority and I am going to feel quite a tug leaving my class part way through the year. However, this is the point in my life where my priority shifts from work, to home life and it has been a long time coming.

Getting things ready at home is progressing well and honestly, my child could move in tonight and we would cope just fine. There is still a list of stuff to buy and a couple of small jobs still to do but on the whole it's done.

As for the cutting back, that was today's theme. Wicket went to yet another new groomer, who turned out to be great (and local). He looks super cute in his shortest cut to date. He should make a good first impression with my child in a few weeks.

The garden also had some major cutting back in the form of some major tree surgery. My great willows, planted as saplings 12 years ago and now taller than the house, had a 30% reduction and trim in order to let more light into the garden and make them safe. This should allow me to reseed the lawn after a damp and shady year which resulted in a large mud patch. Hopefully, this summer I will have a lawn for toddler and Wicket to play on.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Nearly There

Only a few days to go before matching panel. The moment when the potential future of my family is decided. This has been a roller coaster of a journey especially since I was approved as an adopter and matching began.

I am feeling quietly confident about a positive outcome but with everything that has happened I know that I also should be cautious.

The room is ready, my introduction books are ready, I am mentally as ready as I can be until my child arrives and I feel like everything is holding its breath.

Please send out good thoughts and keep your fingers crossed for us.

To Do List 2

In 2008 I made a To Do list of things in London I wanted to get around to doing. I thought it was time to revisit my list, especially as my life is about to change so dramatically.

This is my list from 2008.
My mum brought up a couple more:
  • Visit Columbia Road Flower Market
  • Visit Petticoat Lane
To my shame I have only got around to completing three of those goals, and I had already joined the orchestra. To my further shame, a lovely sushi restaurant opened up in Barking, virtually on my door step, but I only went twice, and now it has closed down. Not my fault entirely, I know. Perhaps Barking is just not ready to swap chicken and chips for sushi, but I could have patronised it more regularly. I have been to Spitalfields a couple of times now and think it is wonderful. Definitely somewhere I'll go again especially since they are dog friendly.

So my new list goes like this:
I am sure that there are more things I can add, but at and average of 3 met goals in 5 years and the hopeful addition of a daughter next month, I think it will do for now!

A Bit of a Scare

This is what I looked like yesterday during the worst of an allergic reaction which started very slowly on Friday morning with a swollen eyelid and a line of itchy spots which I though were bites. During the day the itching and spots spread gradually and by lunch time the itching was quite bad. By afternoon things were progressing fast. My back, neck and back of my head were covered with hives and I couldn't stop scratching. A phone call for an appointment to the doctors for an emergency appointment ended in being told to go straight to A&E.

The suspicion was that I was having an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin that I was taking for my loss of smell and taste (still not returned) following a bad virus a few weeks ago. Untreated this can develop into Anaphylaxis.

After waiting for an hour and a half to be seen at the hospital, the hives had spread and were all over my chest, stomach, top of my head, round my face and even onto my legs. I was checked for wheezing and heart beat to establish that there was no onset of Anaphylaxis, and thankfully there wasn't. The allergy was treated aggressively because it was spreading fast and I was given an immediate dose of steroids and a prescription for more, along with strong antihistamines which I needed to take as soon as possible. I took one of these as soon as I got home. After falling asleep for and hour or so I wok up feeling a lot less itchy and with signs of the hives going down. they certainly weren't spreading any more.

Today I still have slightly swolen eyelids and there are still a few faint hive marks, but I am more or less back to normal - tired but otherwise fine. I have another 4 days of steroids and antihisamines to take and hopefully that will be the last of the allergic reaction.

The only mystery which remains is, what did I react to? The doctor felt that a reaction to the Amoxicillin was unlikely since I had been taking it for 8/9 days. However, I can think of nothing else which I have recently changed. I haven't eaten anything new, my washing powder and conditioner are the same I always use. I have been using my current toiletries and cosmetics for a while now. This only leaves the Amoxicillin. On reading up about it there are a few sources that say that allergy can start at any time, even a week after treatment has stopped. This seems to be the only explanation. I am certainly not going to finish the course I was on.

This was a scary experience and difficult to cope with on my own, particularly that hour and a half in the waiting room as the itching spread. Thank goodness for the support of friends and family via texts and Facebook, not to mention the support of my friends at school who looked after me and covered my class at the end of the day so I could get to the hospital. To all of them, I send a huge thank you.