How I’ll Remember September

I recently wrote a blog letter Dear August where I bemoaned a few things about this August.  Little did I know what was in store.

All I can say is sorry August – I was only joking mate.  Last time I pick a fight with that one!  Choose your battles and all that.

Well to cut a long story short, whoosh, bang, I was knocked off my feet.  A hospital stay later, it would seem that I’d had a ‘Thunderclap’ headache.  Never heard of it?  Me neither.  If you google it, it’s interesting.  What is it they say about never googling an ailment.  I don’t usually.  Bit different this time though.

One of the more amusing causes of this ‘Thunderclap’ is having sex.  I can solemnly vouch that this was not indeed the cause in my particular case.  The fact that it happened at work is evidence of this little fact.

What has followed has been an unprecedented and lengthy time off to recover.  I am also working on getting my brain back into gear and re-polishing my social skills before letting myself loose on the unsuspecting general public. Iron Man has had to double up as a Carer and I have to say he has been (in the main) a superstar.

As always, the incident hasn’t been without its funny moments.  Not least my ability to be ‘lost’ three time whilst in hospital.  Not ‘lost’ in the passing over sense I hasten to add.  ‘Missing’ lost.  Not bad going considering I was flat on my back.

It’s a very strange feeling to know that you are being looked for when you can’t just jump up and shout ‘surprise’.  On one occasion I did actually wonder if I was watching this scenario from a higher place (well you read about these things – could it actually have happened?).

A quick tannoy announcement for ‘Nicola Kentisbeer to make herself known’ soon brought me back to earth.  I have to say I’ve never seen my Carer move so fast, you’d have thought his parcel had arrived at the collection point in Argos.

Iron Man taking charge
Iron Man taking charge

And then of course came the Wedding Anniversary.  13 years funnily enough.  Well, we spent it in hospital.  Had a date in fact.  We know how to party.

The Carer turned up with a fabulous roast dinner, courtesy of our very lovely friends.  I should say at this point that he was well looked after in the food department – courtesy of even more lovely friends.  Once fit and well, I shall be returning this fabulous hospitality that the Carer took full advantage off was very grateful for.

We decided to precede my feast with a walk.  A walk in The Whipps Cross Hospital Car Park.  I didn’t make the usual effort, hospital gown, socks and flip flops (I know!)  That was a really bad fashion move –  not that easy to walk in either.  It was really enjoyable though coming, of course,  from the perspective of needing to get out.  I would even go so far as to say quite romantic until the Carer suggested that I could have made an effort with my hair.

Low blow indeed!  Little did he realise that he was going to be prising off my wedding ring from my swollen sausage fingers the next day and guess what shock horror – it won’t go back on.  He also said he wasn’t actually that keen on it.  Nevertheless, no need to take it out on the hair.

As luck would have it, we returned to the ward as the dinner cart was coming round.  Peachy timing!  This meant that I could order a desert and coffee to follow my lovely roast dinner.  Happy days.  A box of Ferrero Rocher later and I was a very happy woman.

Coffee to follow my anniversary meal

I was also a very happy woman  being referred to as ‘young lady’ by the hospital staff.  I’m not sure if this was because I was the youngest on the ward or if I was being told off for saying something I shouldn’t have.  Still not sure.

I should also add that I was very fortunate to be in the safe hands of wonderful doctors and nurses doing amazing jobs whilst under a huge amount of pressure.

I should further add that doctors are very young these days.

I have missed lots of things this month not least my little blog and The Kid’s first day back at school in Year 5.

I shall also be missing the Shine Walk* (see below) in London for Cancer Research with three lovely girlies on Saturday evening.   I know that they will be amazing and they know that I shall be filling their glasses with something lovely very soon to celebrate their success.  I promise I will be at the starting line next year.

Anyway, it’s time I was getting lost.

I hope that you have enjoyed my somewhat unusual ramblings.  Normal blog service will resume shortly.

As always, comments are most welcome and gratefully received.

Nicky x

PS *If you haven’t already made a Shine Walk donation and would like to support these girls doing their bit, here is a link to the Just Giving page

A Cornish Mum
My Random Musings


Dear August

Overcast day
Picture of diary pages
The last week of August

Dear August

You and I need to have a word.

It’s been playing on my mind for a couple of weeks and I’ve realised, quite frankly, that I’m not too keen on you.

This may come as a bit of a shock to you and I have thought long and hard about why I feel like this.

I really don’t want to hurt your feelings so I want to explain why I feel like this about you.

I guess what hasn’t helped our relationship is that I returned from holiday at the beginning of your month and I couldn’t help noticing a few changes while I’d been away.

Overcast day
Looking a bit grey

For a start, I noticed that the evenings were shorter than before I went away.

Also, your weather temperament has been a little unpredictable.

Rainy day in August
Rainy day in August

You’ve made me feel a couple of times like I want to put my onesie on and crank the heating up and this has left me feeling very confused.

I’ve also had to get the umbrella out several times. I don’t mind this too much but you’ve caught me out in my flip flops on more than one occasion in the last few weeks and I really don’t want to have to think about shoes just yet.

In this respect, you are a bit of a tricky one because you signal the end of the summer and the start of autumn.

The most painful part for me though August is that you make people start talking about the new school year and worse still Christmas and this just makes me feel sad.

Being a parent, my calendar tends to run by the school academic year and this makes September feel a little bit like a new year.

August & September
September is on its way

It also means that the fun of the summer is coming to an end and while I may have moaned about the The Kid from time to time, I absolutely love the school holidays and I will miss her.

I also love Christmas but I get very worried that the year is almost over when people start discussing it in your month. You may be a little fed up about this too.

What really worries me is that I haven’t done all of the things I said I would. A bit like I’m running out of year.

I guess July is a hard act to follow and in some respects I may be making you feel a bit like January feels about December. A bit like the poor relation. Everyone has a good old moan about January because they have had such a great time in December. I have to say I’m a bit of a weird one here though because I love January and I know not many people do.

Anyway, enough about me.

I do understand how you may feel about being sandwiched between July and September. I can’t imagine all this talk of autumn and winter is doing much for your self-esteem and maybe that is why you have cried so much this month.

What Season Am I?
What Season Am I?

This makes me feel even sadder. Equally, you may feel like you haven’t done all of the things you wanted to do this year.

In my attempt to make you (and me) feel a little better, I have taken a look back at what I set as my priorities at the beginning of the year. All of my and my little family’s wishes for the things that we wanted to do this year that make our hearts sing.

It’s these things that provide all the memories and giggles that go on our Memory Board each year on New Year’s Eve.

Our Memory Board
Our Memory Board

Unfortunately, it’s all too often these things that get overlooked when busy living and other priorities get in the way. Often these ‘priorities’ have a habit of getting in the way of the things that we really want to do and our ‘little things’ fall by the way side.

Maybe you feel like this too and haven’t had the chance to shine as much as you usually would.

I’m going to make a pact with you August. It’s my way of saying that I’m giving you a second chance.

I am going to go back to my list and I am going to do all of those things I promised myself I would do for me this year. As a family, we are going to do as many of the things left on our list that we haven’t yet done. Last but not least, I’m going to make sure that I see all the people I’ve been wanting to catch up with and I’m going to see more of those people that just make me smile.

That’s my part of the deal.

Your part of this deal August is to try to last a little longer and to dry up those tears and start shining again.

How I Imagine You Might Look

I do think we can work together on this and we can welcome September together knowing that we have done enough and are back on track.

What do you think?

PS It might be worth asking September if you can carry some sunshine forward if you do run out of days

PPS The shoe thing was a real problem today!

Raincoats & Sandals
Raincoats & Sandals











Twinkly Tuesday

Giving the Teacher a Gift?

Picture of an apple
Teacher Appreciation

It’s the time of year for those of us that are parents to turn our thoughts towards end of year gifts. Our gifts to teachers and anyone else that has contributed to our children’s lives over the past academic year.

I’m a bit of a stickler for buying these gifts because I have personally really valued the input these people have had into my daughter’s life – whether it be teachers or activity leaders.  I’m also slightly swayed  in so far as we’ve always had a lovely teacher.

We always do something at Christmas too but I see end of year as being the main game and the time to say thank you.

The Kid also loves to give every Tom, Dick and Harry a gift too and providing she doesn’t have to put her hand in her pocket, she is quite happy to choose very elaborate gifts for all and sundry.

So how do I approach the buying? What is my criteria?

  1. I like to have at least met them
  2. I like to have heard their name mentioned regularly
  3. They have had added real value and input

If you make the cut, in my opinion it’s no holds barred. Of course that has left us open in the past to buying rather a lot of gifts – but then who do you leave out? I have said no on occasion where I’ve had no idea who the person actually is.

So what to buy?

I generally work from the rule of thumb that I would never give a gift that I wouldn’t want to receive myself.

It doesn’t have to be about cost. There are many lovely things available now for less than a fiver. In fact, I could probably hazard a guess that some of the best gifts that teachers receive are those where a child has lovingly made something.  We choose our gifts according to our means.

I am also lucky to have teacher friends who I have run ideas by as to whether a particular gift would be well received.   I do take this gift giving seriously!

And from the teachers’ perspective?

Items on a tombola stall
Tombola Stall

What I imagine is a complete no go is ‘toot’. By toot I mean something that has clearly been recycled several times, out of date consumables and things from the summer fayre tombola (particularly if they donated it). You’d be amazed at the amount of sun dials and dodgy wine that surface in these tombola’s.  Some have been doing the rounds since the 1970’s.

And then there is the group collection. Of course, we all love a volunteer don’t we? I have in the past shouted up for similar collections and yes they make sense and are well received.

Not quite so palatable is when you never see the other people and you end up shelling out everyone’s tenner.   Of course, it’s all a about giving isn’t it but for someone you hardly know? I’m sure we all draw the line at having to swallow that bundle.

My instructions this year are ‘no mugs’. I’ve only done the mug thing once as a Christmas gesture but according to The Kid this is off limits. In my defence, I thought it had quite an apt slogan but I’m prepared to concede on this one.

I shall continue to ponder the choices.

Another group that is particularly dear to our hearts is the Brownies. I consider our daughter to be privileged to be part of her Brownie group. Without question, I can honestly say that the ladies who run her particular group are the most wonderfully giving people I have had the privilege to meet. I am sure that I speak for many others across the nation in this sentiment.

Good times come easy in the Brownies and my daughter has had such fabulously happy times with her Brownie group that it brings a tear to my eye. The loving care and effort put in by the leaders to ensure the children have fun is selfless.

In fact I’d go so far to say that if The Kid didn’t have so many guardians in the form of wonderful aunties and friends, then I would without question choose Brown Owl as her Next of Kin!

All of these lovely people have certainly made the cut.

So that’s me and end of year gift giving.

What about you? Do you participate or do you balk at the thought of it?

What influences your choice of gift and who makes your final cut?

Would love to hear your comments

Nicky x