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Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and wondering "why"? The reason is this news report here.

Warning - video contains some information which you may find distressing (in fact I hope you do...this needs to stop!).

The sad thing is that I am not surprised by this at all. Many of you know that I used to be a nurse before I changed careers and I saw this kind of thing go on all the time - albeit on a more subtle level. It's a disgrace - it was then too. And the worst thing is nobody is/was interested! I remember at one point I did some agency nursing which saw me working night shifts as the only qualified person in the care homes. One morning I walked past one resident's room to hear a shouting match going on (a one sided one at that). fearing for the resident's safety I entered the room to find one of the care assistants standing over the resident shouting at her....and I mean PROPER shouting. I made her leave the room and reported my concerns.....nobody was interested. Personally I was horrified and the next time I had to work with her I put her on mostly laundry duty so that she wouldn't be near the residents. I was terrified at the thought of leaving her with them - especially knowing that I'd be to blame being the person in charge.

I just don't get it - I honestly don't. These are people's family, people (adult) children, the most PRECIOUS "thing" in somebody's life. You bet I feel angry! You see it's a job to them (not ALL obviously) - they don't see the privileged position they are in, the way that they have access to people's lives like nobody else. One day I hope they realise before it's too late.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Wentworth Castle & Gardens

When Andy and I were in Scotland we started thinking about all the great days out that were on our own door step. You know? We think nothing of driving a few hundred miles to go see a Scottish castle or public gardens - yet we have an abundance of things like that here in Yorkshire! So when we came home we decided to make a point of visiting some of Yorkshire's own attractions and began our quest to find cheap days out locally. Unfortunately we weren't able to make good use of any discounts as the best discounts (in fact the ONLY discounts I could find) were for families...which is usually the case here. Anyway...I'm digressing....

So today we arrived at Wentworth Castle & Gardens - a large estate which thanks to English Heritage is now mostly open to the public. The estate is 50 acres and is actually mainly open to the public free of charge (although you do have to pay £3 parking fees). However, we chose to pay £4.95 each which allowed us entry in to the Victorian flower garden and other landscaped & oriental gardens (an includes the parking fee too). Personally I did think it was a little on the expensive side, as with all English Heritage sites in my opinion, but I have no doubt that the maintenance charges on this place must be astronomical!

You can find out more about Wentworth Castle and gardens here, but the main thing to realise when you see the photos is that it isn't actually a defensive medieval castle (like you'd normally think of when you hear the word castle) so much as a large country house. Also, the castle like structure in the photos is actually a "folly" which is what rich people of the past used to build in order to show their wealth. Follies are all over the world but here in the UK they're (almost) on every street corner*

*Possibly a slight over exaggeration

Anyway, enjoy the pics of my little slice of Yorkshire :)

This beautiful Victorian conservatory is currently being restored
Victorian flower garden
views of Yorkshire
the old public road used to enter the estate here
some monument
a folly - built for the kids to play in!
grounds at the back of the folly
Lady Lucy's Walk - Lucy was one of the owner's children and was said to have died of a broken heart as she couldn't marry the person that she loved. She is said to haunt this lime tree we didn't see her.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

A few more pics

Here are a few more pics from Scotland...
the hotel
NOT the hotel :)     Actually it's Inverary Castle!
more from Inverary Castle
first signs of spring - don't you just love daffs?
some road on the way to Inverary - did you know "inver" means mouth? Well you do now :)
view from our hotel room window - isn't it great?
I have spent much of the week sorting out things for the course which I just found out that I have got a place on. I had to fill in forms for course fees - our company pay the fees up to £5,000 a year which is a BIG help to me. The form was pretty huge and I'm almost done with it except for negotiating some time off work to attend the lectures - only 3 days every 6 weeks. I am aiming to not have to work any of it back because having a rubbish memory and dyslexia makes it hard enough to learn without having to work extra hours at work as well. So far the company offer isn't acceptable to me so I'm still negotiating.

Other forms include applying for DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) as I need a new needs assessment and I need to see if the LEA (education authority) will give me permission to have one - and anything which the needs assessor thinks I need. I'm not sure I'm eligible as I've had the grant before but I have been told to apply anyway....what's another 30 page form on top of the others though eh? The allowance covers things like any software that I'll need such as things like speech to text software and dictaphones etc. I still have  a bunch of stuff from my last course so as long as it all works with Vista then I shouldn't need anything new at all....just the £400+ for the needs assessment.  I expect to have support in place in 6 months takes forever! So this weekend I will be busy finding all my old educational psychology assessments and stuff to apply for that.....looks like I'll be setting up camp by the scanner scanning everything in....must have about 100 pages to scan in so far!

Well I'll leave it there.....more photos later perhaps :)

Have a fun weekend everyone!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Oh heck what have I done?

Well I applied for course I mentioned in my previous post and today I found out I have been accepted onto it pending my references and proof of my previous degree result. So basically I am on the course! Oh heck what have I done? Help?!

So those plans I mentioned previously will need to be set in stone now. I know some people won't be happy but seriously I am not super human so I'm not even going to TRY and keep up with everything. I have learnt my lesson in the past and I refuse to make myself sick again. So starting after my trip to Norway next month I will be working a reduced schedule of work (note I said REDUCED not NON EXISTANT). I will still be doing all my usual activities but just less of it.

Anyway onto other things - I have a few more pics to share from my recent trip to Scotland...

Ok we all know I don't do photos so apologies for the stupid face! But I was told you wanted more pics of me...for some INSANE reason LOL. I've had my hair done since this pic though...

That's it for now but I'll share more later :)

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

I'm much more than a designer

Those that know me well know that I’m not a full time designer but that I actually have a day job. I work as a metallurgist which is basically a an engineer who specialises in metals. The thing is I’m working in an area which I’m not actually qualified to work in. You see I have a degree in mechanical engineering not metallurgy or materials science which is what I need. Whilst this isn’t an issue on a day to day level as much of what I’ve learnt has been through experience - it IS sometimes an issue when I need to understand a specific bit of theory that would have been covered on a materials science or metallurgy course. I desperately want to fill the gaps in my knowledge because quite honestly it would make my job so much easier and a whole lot less stressful. So I have decided that I am going to look into going back to university to study for a Masters in a Materials/Metallurgy. I’ll be going to an open evening tomorrow at a university not too far from where we live and I hope to get a place on their course.

This is a big step for me. Being dyslexic and having a really poor short term memory means that learning (and especially remembering) anything is really difficult. I literally had to work a 60-70 hour week all the way through uni just to get through all the reading and re-reading to make sure that I’d remember stuff. Understanding I find is the easy bit – its the remembering it that seems impossible. I tend to only remember one instruction at a time and not even one complete sentence when I’m reading. By the time I get to the end of the sentence I have literally forgotten what I read at the beginning of it. Quite a nightmare when it comes to retaining information.

Of course I have had to have a think about what to do with the designs when I go back to uni because I basically have a full time job with that alone and I can’t possibly squeeze in blog designs, digiscrapping kit designs, “proper” work AND study into my day. And no I’m not even going to try LOL. So my plan is basically this:

Adori Graphics
Custom blog designs in vacations only
Tutorial Tuesdays will be kept up to date as Blogger make changes, but no new ones will be posted.
New premade templates will be posted “as and when” I have time
Freebie Friday templates will be posted monthly, apart from exam times (typically after Christmas and Easter)

Adorible Digital Designs
Instead of 2+ kit releases a month I will be working on 1 kit release every month and I will have to cut back some of my CT duties for my own CT (such as making layouts and stuff for the blog train). Other CT members will still be doing this, but I won’t be able to.

I hope that works. With a schedule as full as mine, every minute I can claw back will really help a ton!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Pics from Scotland

Just a few for now I'm afraid. These were all taken on the first day in the hotel room. The hotel room decor wasn't our cup of tea but the room had fab views and was comfortable - we'd stay there again if we ever had reason to be in that area.

there was even a little sitting area to the side of the bedroom
and a very rare glimpse of me! I was surfing the net at the time...

More to follow! No more horrid pics of me I promise...or possibly one...maybe...

Thursday, 5 May 2011

About that trip...

I am feeling so refreshed after our trip to Scotland. I love the new, less grouchy me LOL.
It was fabulous to spend some quality time with my sister because for so many years we didn’t get on...and I mean that in the same way that potassium doesn’t get on with water. We were quite frankly an explosive mix! I won’t go into personal family stuff here out of respect for my family and their privacy, but let’s just say that I wasn’t a happy camper when I lived with my parents. My sister and I did nothing but bicker, but more so than the usual sibling rivalry I’d say. At the time, neither of us could understand the other siblings position and problems were just magnified by the fact that we were twins and everyone would compare us. FYI – if you have twin please (for the love of God) do NOT dress them in the same clothes and make sure they’re in different classes at school, or different schools. There is NOTHING more soul destroying than constantly being compared to your more talented, better looking, more gifted sibling!

Anyway, we both left home a few weeks after our 18th birthday – her to Scotland and I moved to a new county a 3 hour train journey away. I loved freedom and the opportunity to grow up to be who I wanted to be, but sadly my sister and I never did reconcile our differences until years later. Personally I think we’ve both missed out on an important part of each others lives, but we finally got our acts together in our thirties...better late than never.

We have been to Scotland every year since we made up and gradually we have been getting use to each other, although it was still a little like walking on eggshells sometimes. However, this vacation was different. This one was spent making new, happier memories and it was wonderful! There was lots of hugging, crying and poor hubby probably thought we’d gone mad at times, but it wasn’t strained at all and I really didn’t want to leave!

I’ll share some pics at the weekend :)