Saturday, 26 September 2009


I keep waking up at 5.30 am and not getting back to sleep again ... not good! Tried a late afternoon siesta yesterday, but that didn't help. This usually means I am keyed up about something, but a month before the exams is a little too early for comfort ...

My mother is in Lewisham hospital with a liver infection - repeat performance of what happened last time I started studying ;) She is already much better than when she went in on Sunday night, but liver and kidney function still not right, so further investigations on the way. A scan had been ordered for Thursday and my sister spent Friday making sure it got done before Monday (which is when the X-ray department saw fit to schedule it): the consultant was unhappy, so it did get done. However, my sister spent nine hours there as my mother's minder, and it shouldn't take that to make it happen.

Ah well, back to the textbook ....

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Until further notice ...

New postings on this blog are liable to be sporadic .... until we change the clocks (!!) I should have my head well and truly down studying for those exams and time off is for keeping myself fed and watered ... time on line will have to be rationed to short breaks (with the possible exception of Masterchef - which I will download and watch in small doses last thing at night to relax).

I have spent way too much time web-hopping already - time to be out and about.

I have, however, bought my train ticket (one of those things that can take a large chunk of time because I first have to find how to work the system to avoid travelling across London). For some reason the general train sites were telling me there waa nothing doing for my return journey whereas Virgin found me my usual route through Watford. I have even discovered that I can travel via Reading on Sundays, which will save me money on the next residential as I won't have to stay at Maryvale overnight - hurrah! (Not that I mind, but it does cost me because it's not included in the fees .... ) I first have to get those exams behind me ....

so.... bye, bye for now!

Have now returned from the shops with ham for pasta carbonara next week. A quick dive into the charity shops yielded two slightly warmer garments and a new fleecier and more respectable fleece. For some time I have been looking for a replacement for my tatty old one (navy blue, with a broken zip) given to my by my ex-sister-in-law. I don't wear navy blue. It's not right for me, and given that I wear a lot of black, which looks better, it just looked as if I hadn't put it together properly. Now I have a pale blue one, which will be a good contrast to most of my jumpers (and I will show up better in the long dark nights, too). My old one feels much thinner, so I hope I will be warmer as well as smarter! If it gets grubby I can always wash it!

I am yawning my head off - time for a siesta!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Phew! (Exams!)


It remains to be seen whether that is: "Phew, I'm glad!", or "Phew, I'll never!" It is certainly: "Phew, I'm stunned!"

I rang the Institute this morning to be told the course director was anxious to speak to me and had been trying to reach me all yesterday. How I missed the calls I don't know: the only one I picked up was one from a pest of a business trying to sell me a mobility scooter (and I know they are rogues). When I eventually got through to him he suggested I sit the two exams outstanding at the October resits and then continue in second year. As I had been sure he would want me to repeat first year I was planning a gentle meander towards the first year residential next week and revising the first paper by doing the first term's assignments, preferably fairly quickly so that I could spend lots of time on the philosophy (which is the one where I am weakest).

Now I have to do what I would have taken two terms to do .... in a month! After he spoke to me I was in stunned mode (it will take me until Monday to make the mental re-adjustment to intensive study - and in particular to clear the decks of domestic tasks outstanding and actually find the textbook!) and have now moved into panic mode, big time!

When I have had a good night's sleep I will email him to ask for copies of the relevant exam papers: I fear I will have to do what I hate to do and work to the exam rather than learning the subject properly. If I pare it down to its bare bones, I only need four topics, two for each exam. That's one week for each ... still dangerous from a standing start when I haven't even opened a textbook for a year! And I am no good at cramming: too much and I can't remember any of it!

I need the exam papers: then I pick the questions on the topics I am homing in on and write bullet point answers to as many variants as I can. Otherwise I will end up reading everything and remembering nothing or, more likely and worse still, attempting to read everything (in a disorganised fashion and with no sense of purpose), remembering disjointed bits of everything and nothing that is enough for any one answer, leave alone getting it into something coherent on the day!

Well, tomorrow I know what to do - washing up and making a chicken casserole for next week and as much tidying up as I can bear to get done.

And first I need a good night's sleep ....

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Fluffed it (twice?)!

I was hoping to get to my school reunion this year (it's a significant anniversary, so more people will be there). The mobility problem means (as usual) that it involves more hassle than just buying a ticket and turning up. Unfortunately I only realised today that I hadn't replied to the email from the organiser (I thought I had long since) and she had already given the numbers to the caterers, so I have missed the boat completely on that one. I have been more preoccupied with sorting the beginning of the college term (and again, fear I have fluffed that - too much lulled into complacency in August on both counts - as we have a new course director (again) I am not known and need references and all the ta-ra. Had to get requests hand delivered too, as I had forgotten the postal strikes were still happening: having been reported earlier, they had dropped out of the news).

I am definitely suffering from a lazy lack of motivation which I suspect to be a vicious circle: not stimulated by study so not bothered about anything; not bothered by anything so not motivated to study. Whatever happens I must do some study of some sort this year: it is all too true that if you pause for a year thinking you will do some reading, you get precious little done (though most of the 'undone'on the practical front, which is was I was hoping to do is due to not having the help of my best mate, who has been spending the year being treated for cancer - a drawn-out and gruelling process).

At least the garden is getting done - I may even have some bulbs in the Spring (though I don't feel the same sense of achievement as I did when I did it myself: I now don't have enough time, even if the digging was done and I could do a little).

Monday, 14 September 2009

crafting ....

these are three quick cards I did for one of the challenges on Crafts by Carolyn. I have so much cardmaking stuff and leaving it in the (many!) boxes is taking up way too much space! I hope I might be able to sell some for Maryvale who have a huge development project on the go and some for a much smaller one we have going at Church, to make the garden at the back of our premises more attractive. Both are causes dear to my heart.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Cards and ....

I have been busy with various (fairly mundane) things, among them making birthday cards for dates coming up soon: the one above is for my cousin (the sentiment shows up better than on the scan, as it catches the light - and the card isn't bent, either!) I did another, similar one for a fellow-cardmaker at the weekend (and scurried to post it without stopping to scan).

I went along to post a parcel yesterday and took advantage of my visit to the High Street to get some kitchen scales: the new flat ones take up very little space and are cheap at under a tenner, so I now have a second one to weigh things I am going to post. They closed the handy, nearby post office a year ago and the main one is right at the other end of the High Street; it's not on my way anywhere and I don't need to go as far as that for anything else, so if I can weigh things myself and put them in the post box it will be much less hassle. Likewise I now have a dedicated bucket for washing the kitchen floor, so I don't have to tip everything out of the other one first. (I take things around the house in a bucket rather than anything else - it's the easiest thing to carry and a convenient shape.)

Today I will take this card to the post on my way to Croydon to get clothes for the winter (tracky bums, as ever!) as they have a 20% discount day :) :) I actually remembered to post it and now have various colours of tracky bums for the winter, so that was a successful expedition. I just hope the post is quick; it usually is from here, but recently it's been really slow, most likely due to strikes - they never seem to mind inconveniencing everybody for their own ends. How come class warfare doesn't operate under just war theory?

Fellow-cardmakers: here is the lowdown on materials:

Main card - Imaginisce Trade Winds (a fave series)
Background flower - K+Co
Flower - petals - Sarah's cards, gold brad (and it was straight to start with!) Papermania
Sentiment - Royal and Langenickel rubon.

I have heard from my nephew (an i-tunes credit hit the right spot for his birthday :) ) and my niece is now back in Zimbabwe to work on various ongoing projects.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

fruit fly menace!

The leaking fruit juice attracted fruit flies: it is no more so WHY are there still fruit flies (in the loo! Surely they don't like Harpic!)

I am now on to Luther (familiar territory; in danger of being so familiar that one forgets essentials, but I should be able to get re-acquainted with them reasonably fast).

Friday, 4 September 2009

sticky study

More pfaffing around this morning: guess who forgot the washing up liquid ... and I had an urgent birthday card to get in the post, too. The persistent sticky patch on the kitchen floor has been traced back to long-forgotten fruit juice cartons leaking from the bottom (so not immediately obvious). I kept wiping up and it kept coming back ... and I didn't know what it was so was not a happy bunny. I obviously intended mixing pineapple and grapefruit juice for breakfast, but that got overtaken by medication :( and the juice left behind.

I have done some study and am now on to Luther, the aim being to revise those familiar topics (and as they are familiar I can see the broader picture, which adds perspective I didn't have before) so that once term starts I can put my energy into the bits that need it. (A persistent little voice repeats "metaphysics" at regular intervals, and that topic could keep me occupied for 12 months on its own!)

I have come to the conclusion you have to do the study first and everthing else round it: as an adult student you tend to think your duty is to other things first. If you do that the study gets squeezed out: it needs a decent chunk of time in one go, or you lose the thread of the argument. Other things (with the possible exception of cooking stew) are not likely to take as long and can be done for a break.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

frustration! and moans medical ....

I am trying (unsuccessfully) to get myself into a decent study routine. OK, let's be honest: some of it is down to too much pfaffing about. Only some of it, though (yes, really) - most of the rest is due to having to work my schedule around diuretic medication and its effects ... for some reason these are a bit drastic and getting serious study done when they necessitate a break every 20-30 minutes, and several of them, is really annoying; you've just got going with the argument and you have to break off again! Added to that I have to have a main meal when it's appropriate, not when I would most find convenient .... but it is a necessary evil, so somehow one must wangle. I can't think of anything that has changed to make the effects more acute, apart from having put on a bit of weight (which according to the Internet, can affect it, but only a bit). Maybe there is some critical tipping point at which weight increase causes more of a problem in various ways and this is one demonstration of it. Good for one's health it is not, so somehow I must lose my appetite (by design this time!) because that is what worked last time.

Study is a great help because it occupies your mind with something interesting so you don't have to resort to the biscuit tin. Now that I am used to the stress of assignments it's not a worry (until the summer exams, but they are not for a few months yet ;) so I have time to lose quite a bit first!) I really need to study: it gives me focus and purpose in a life which would otherwise be dull and boring (and I get a theology degree at the end of it, I hope!) The answer is that I probably need to be better organised so I can cook ahead and have something ready for a quick meal that is healthy and doesn't take too much time.