Sunday, 27 March 2016

Why Does Easter Move?

Happy Easter! 

Easter, despite it originally being the festival of the ressurection of Jesus, I would say is now more about Bunnies, Chicks, Chocolates and Egg hunts! And for weeks before the Easter period you can often see masses upon masses of sweet treats upon many aisles of supermarkets, and of course, what most of the world go mad for, and I personally cannot stand, Cadbury's Cream Eggs. You know the ones that I mean, those sickly eggs with the even more sickly gooey centre! Yuck!

Anyway, back on subject, I have often wondered why unlike any other Christian celebrated holidays does Easter move? So me being me, and liking to know everything having a thirst for knowledge, decided to read up on why this is a moveable holiday.

Long Story Short, it appears that the Easter holidays follow the phases of the moon, or rather to be exact  is usually celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon on or after 21 March. Easter generally falls between 22 March and 25th April.

Based on the paschal full moon (for those interested The name "paschal" is derived from "Pascha", a transliteration of the Greek word, which is itself a transliteration of the Hebrew pesach, both words meaning Passover), it was decided by the bishops that Easter Day would fall on the next full moon after the spring equinox. 

This is mainly as Easter must fall on a Sunday as this was the apparent day that Jesus was resurrected.
But since the full moon can be on different days depending on the different time zones, it was decided that the full moon is always determined to be the 14th day of the lunar month.
Even though the spring equinox can occur on March 20 the Church fixes the spring equinox as March 21.
So there we have it!

Happy Easter Folks!

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

A Nurse's Response - Poem 2 of 101

The following is a reply to yesterdays poem that I published, the author is unknown, but they have penned a reply to "The Crabbit Old Woman".

The majority of people I have had the pleasure to work with often wish they could spend more time with the people in which we look after, and the majority of them again are saddened in some way by the death of one of our clients.

What do we see, you ask, what do we see?
Yes, we are thinking when looking at thee!
We may seem to be hard when we hurry and fuss,
But there’s many of you, and too few of us.
We would like far more time to sit by you and talk,
To bath you and feed you and help you to walk.
To hear of your lives and the things you have done;
Your childhood, your husband, your daughter, your son.
But time is against us, there’s too much to do -
Patients too many, and nurses too few.
We grieve when we see you so sad and alone,
With nobody near you, no friends of your own.
We feel all your pain, and know of your fear
That nobody cares now your end is so near.
But nurses are people with feelings as well,
And when we’re together you’ll often hear tell
Of the dearest old Gran in the very end bed,
And the lovely old Dad, and the things that he said,
We speak with compassion and love, and feel sad
When we think of your lives
and the joy that you’ve had,
When the time has arrived for you to depart,
You leave us behind with an ache in our heart.
When you sleep the long sleep, no more worry or care,
There are other old people, and we must be there.
So please understand if we hurry and fuss -
There are many of you,
And so few of us.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

What do You See? Poem 1 of 101

What do you see, what do you see?
Are you thinking, when you look at me-
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
I do wish you'd try.
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is loosing a stocking or shoe.
Who, unresisting or not; lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day is fill.
Is that what you're thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,
nurse, you're looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still!
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who loved one another-
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet,
A bride soon at 20- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home;
A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;
At 50 once more babies play around my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years and the love that I've known;
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel-
Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart,
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells,
I remember the joy, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few- gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last-
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer-
See Me.

By: Phyilis McCormack

I first heard of this poem in 2007, It's a very sad piece really, and I'm not ashamed to admit when I first heard it I shed a little tear. 

To anyone within the health and social care setting, I urge you to put yourself in the clients shoes, it could be you one day.

This poem should be widely known among those in the health and social care setting, My local council authority at one point used this as part of their safeguarding of vulnerable adults training. The video I saw, had Virginia McKenna in, and to anyone who has no further insight into this industry it could make you believe that all settings are full of horrible, uncaring individuals. 

They aren't, but abuse, as much as it shouldn't happen does.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Holiday Hell - Do Your HomeWork!

I recently got back from my holiday in Caleta De Fuste, Fuerteventura. A bargain of a buy at around £205 each for 7 nights, including insurance and transfers at a 2 star hotel.

I say recently, it was more like 3 weeks or so a go, but that's still pretty recent I guess.

I expected glorious winter sun in its 20 degrees Celsius, glorious beaches, cocktails, lounging by the pool. The holiday failed miserably at delivering this.

But oh no, the winter doom and gloom seemed to have followed us the Two thousand, Five hundred and something miles we travelled.

It would be a bit of an understatement if I said it rained a little the first four days, it absolutely bucketed it down to the point where parts of the island was flooding. I walked around, like an idiot in shorts (I had packed for summer remember) and my big winter coat in which I had travelled from home in.

If the weather wasn't bad enough, the apartment nigh on drove me insane. Now usually I am quite the little researcher before I book anywhere, but thought I would wing it this time with it being a cheap holiday, I wont be doing that again that is for sure!

L, who I went away with, is a some one picky eater so we opted for self catering.How you can self cater one 2 electric hobs and a microwave and 2 pans is beyond me. The apartment itself was in need of a good clean and serious upgrade. And the pool looked dirtier that what my old dogs paddling pool looked like after a summer of being left out, there was scud and dead insects galore inside of it. And there was building work going on literally next door to our apartment which woke us up at the crack of dawn every morning.

We very nearly booked a return flight home after 2 days. We was so cold one point we booked ourselves into the nearest spa with a thermal pool.

The island as a whole, is obviously a very much up and coming island, as everywhere you looked there was construction work of some kind going on. Which obviously would put a downer on most peoples views of the place. Even the beach had constant construction work happening, as I assume they are in the process of extending the (manmade) beach. There wasn't even much to do either, so we was constantly spending money to try and entertain ourselves.

Fun Fact: Lemurs have Queens, not Kings as the film Madagascar depicts.

We eventually saw 2 days of sun before we came home, and went to the Oasis Zoo on one of those days, which very much made up for the whole holiday as we saw a sea lion show, paid extra to go feed the lemurs, got to stroke and feed giraffes and zebras, as well as see other animals, such as monkeys, which had been rescued from being pets. I did feel rather sorry for the elephants though, they looked so sad. and I just can't shake that image.

Anyway, moral of the story is bargain holidays are not always the best! and make sure you do do your home work!
(lol dodo!)

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Self Injury Awareness Day

So apparently today is a self injury awareness day.

Anyone who doesn't know me in real life, or rather didn't know me when I was younger, will not be aware, that I was a self harmer.

I'm not ashamed to admit this, and if people happen to notice and ask about any questionable scarring on my arms then I won't deny what they are, but in all fairness I don't really get asked, nor are the scares that visible anymore, seeing as it is 15 ish years since it happened.

At the same time not all my self harm was through cutting, I would do things such as head banging, hair pulling etc too.

There are many reasons that I resulted to self harm, all the usual really, struggling to deal with bullies at school, problems within myself, and others, which I don't really feel the need to divulge.

I found that self harm was something I was in control over. I controlled when the pain would happen or not. Then it came to the point that I became almost addicted to self harm. This may sound silly to none self harmers, but I am pretty sure that other self harmers will know exactly where I came from.

Self harm became a habit for me, a lot like smoking, I felt I needed to do it after certain events would happen and it took some time for me to break out of this habit, and included some help from the mental health services also.

  It was not me seeking attention. Which is what I think a lot of none self harmers think.

As I said, I am not ashamed of my past of self harming, now I see it as a reminded that I over came a pretty difficult time in my life, and I am pretty proud of myself too.

Even now I can still feel drawn when things are playing on my mind, or in times of heightened emotion, but they soon pass with some diversional techniques that I have mastered over the years.