Monday, 16 July 2012

How has your summer been? This is mine....

Over a month since my last post - it's not because nothing of note has happened, but more because I just keep forgetting to come on here and write! I have noticed that my memory has been worse since my radiotherapy last year, I suspect because some of my brain cells might have got fried (well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it....). I've also noticed that, since I'm not having to go to work during the day and therefore have plenty of time to do things, I have become very time-inefficient: what I used to be able to do in an hour or two at the end of a working day now takes me about five or six hours. I suppose that because I have plenty of time on my hands, my "tasks" have expanded to fill the time available (is that Parkinson's Law? where work expands to fill the time available?).

What has been happening since I last posted? I shall do a list - not necessarily in chronological order:
  • we collected Adam from university and took advantage of being in the Lake District to travel up to Glasgow and see my mum. She was in hospital following a fall at her care home and quite confused when we first saw her, but she improved over the weekend. Her memory for the far past is good but she isn't always aware of who we are, or that we are grown-up rather than babies. She's now back at her care home. We will see her again in September when we return Adam to uni;
  • Neil and I went to see Shrek - the Musical on Father's Day. Brilliant fun! Plenty for adults as well as children;
  • I met up with two other women who have Facial Palsy. We all "know" each other through a Facebook group set up for people affected by FP and, as one of them was spending a few days in London en route from America to Transylvania (no, really!), and the other two of us were in the South East, we met up in London and wandered around the National Gallery before having lunch. It was good to be with other people affected by FP, rather than being the only one - safety in numbers! ;
  • I'm still volunteering at Orpheus every week and loving it. We had a "Come Dine with Orpheus" day, when the students were allocated a country and had to plan a menu, write and price a shopping list, shop, prepare, cook and serve - we all ate together and there was a judging panel. The students loved it (and so did the staff and volunteers!). Term ends this week, so tomorrow is my last day with the students till September. I helped at the Open Day on Saturday, which required me to do lots of baking (photos on Facebook last week). Great day - I was able to watch some performances by the students, including a Street Dance show, and then took part in a dance workshop. I believe I am now able to "bust some moves", as they say....I also was lucky enough to be invited to the Orpheus Gala at Trevereux Manor, where I met Prince Edward (patron of the Orpheus Trust) and enjoyed some superb entertainment by the students and a singing group called Cantabile;
  • My professional institute (CIPFA) held its annual conference in Liverpool and as I am once more an elected Council member, I went along to this. I was quite anxious beforehand: I missed Conference last year for obvious reasons and was pretty apprehensive about seeing so many people in one place, some of whom would know my story but wouldn't know what effect it had had on my face, some of whom had seen me so knew what to expect and many who would have no idea who I am and why my face looks different. I was so anxious that I developed a sicky headache the day before I was due to travel and ended up being sick on the morning of my journey, but my apprehension was unnecessary. Everyone was lovely to me, interested in how I was and pleased that I was involved again. It's odd, how I still find it difficult to go to new places, even though I know that my face looks much better than it did. I think the psychological impact of facial palsy is perhaps more difficult to deal with than the physical impact;
  • I ran the British 10k in London, to raise funds for Orpheus. I thought I would do it in about 1.15 or 1.20, but surprised myself by running it in 1.03.48 - not bad, given I had done no running for three weeks, no gym for two weeks and had stuffed my little face while in Liverpool!;
Those are the edited highlights of the past five weeks or so. I am struggling with the weather at the moment - I have always been affected by poor weather but normally I am okay in the summer because the weather is, well, summery! Not this year, though - I can feel my mood being pulled down every day the rain falls and the sky remains gunmetal grey. I am grumpy, snarky and not a nice person to be around - to my family, and particularly my lovely husband, I apologise. I find it so frustrating that last summer, when the weather was pretty decent, I wasn't well enough to enjoy it and had to stay indoors, out of the sun but this year, when I am well enough to potter around in the garden or go for long walks, the weather is totally rubbish. I could almost feel victimised......

I have some rather exciting news to share with you, but can't for another few weeks. It's not to do with weddings, births or moving house, so don't start thinking it's something like that! Just watch this space and all will be revealed.


  1. You are a tease! Good to see you back.

  2. Hi Ali
    Great to see you on Sunday at the "Kirk" looking fab in your killer heels! Marmalade muffins hugely enjoyed in this house - thank you. Great to hear all your update on your blog in detail. Do you ever wonder how you had time to work?! I am full of admiration for you.
    But YES I agree with Womble - you are a tease and the suspense is infuriating!!! I will just have to be patient (not a virtue I am known for!) until you are able to reveal your good news! LOL Fishy <>< x