What’s in a name?

Recently my partner and I formed our Civil Partnership. One of the things that you have to consider is whether or not you want to change your name or title.  I liked the idea of having the same name but then had to think about the pros and cons like “would I lose my identity?”  Well, I have had the same name my whole life!  So, then I thought about changing my title so the world would know I was in a Civil Partnership.

Why is this important?  Well, let’s think about this…when you first meet someone (personal or business) you try to figure them out.  Things run through your head as you are talking to them “is this person single, married, have kids or maybe divorced”.  Why do we ask ourselves these questions (other than because we are generally nosey by nature).  We  endeavour to find some common ground without having to ask personal questions.  At the same time the other person is doing the same thing to us.  Then the moment comes when you have to refer to your partner in conversation.  (If you are heterosexual you probably will not have even thought about this let alone experienced it.)  For those of us who are not heterosexual we have to make a snap decision.  “Do I try to stay generic and say ‘my partner’ instead using her name?”  “Do I jump right in and say ‘she’ where they would be expecting ‘he’?  See, I’ll bet for many of you this type of decision never crosses your mind.  I am proud to have Pam as my partner however,  I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone is comfortable with our relationship.  This take us back to the question of title.  Yes, changing my title would tell people what my status was and it would be out there…the uncomfortable point in the conversation won’t be an issue.  But here is the problem.  There is no title that describes a Civil Partnership.  Your choice is to go from Miss to either Ms or Mrs.  I have been trying to come up with a suitable title that is intuitive and represents a Civil Partnership.  I have not come up with anything clever yet so I am opening it up to you.  If you have a suggestion please post a comment.  Let’s come up with something that I could propose on behalf of the people who have taken their Civil Partnership vows.

New Lambs

The first two arrivals

Update on the lambing progress…when I went to bed last night there were still just the two lambs who were born over the weekend.  This morning  I packed up the car and then snuck to the lambing shed to take a look.  I saw all the expectant mums sleeping and the two weekend arrivals in a small pen with their mum.  They were sooo cute now a few days old.  Then I looked further to my right and there was another small pen with  residents!  (The newborns get moved into separate pens with their mums to keep them safe.)  There were two more little faces looking up at me.  These two were so small  but absolutely perfect and they were only about 3 hours old!  Mum was snoozing after her ordeal.  She will certainly need her rest with these little ones to look after!    I can’t wait to get back there this evening to see what has transpired while I’ve been at work.

Lambing begins

It is the end of February and time for the lambs to start arriving at my step son and daughter-in-law’s farm. I love all things to do with the farm and I’m always excited to learn. This week Pam is helping out so I’m going to work in the morning and then going to the farm for the evening. So far there have been twins born (a boy and a girl) but that was over the weekend. Now we are waiting for others to make their grand entrance. I will most definitely volunteer for bottle duty in the evenings. Notice I said evenings because this is a 24 hour job. Every two hours the lambs that need special care must be checked and bottle fed. If that doesn’t sound hard enough consider that these two young people also have a 9 month old! So, whatever help we can offer we will give. I’ll keep you posted on the lamb count.

42-15 Tigers!

The anticipation of going to Welford Road was well worth the wait! The Tigers were in a word “awesome”. Consider the fact that the team are a bit depleted owing to international duty and injuries. Yes, I realise we were playing the struggling Newcastle but still it was a good win with a bonus point. Okay, those are the game facts, the fun stuff is always off the pitch. We start with the error on my part for trusting in technology. Before the game I looked up the postcode of the car park, plugged that into the sat nav and away we go…and go and go. We get to Leicester city centre and out the other side. Things start to look a bit rural. I double check the postcode and notice it is LE11 and normally you would expect a city centre postcode to be a bit lower on the number scale. Back to the search function on the sat nav only to find it should be LE1 not 11. No panic yet, we still have an hour before kick off and the scenic tour of the rural villages of Leicstershire was pleasant. We now have to do a 180 and try to find the stadium again and hope there is still at least one parking space open. The car park now in sight we are cruising. Find a spot and out on the street we go. One question looming, where exactly is the stadium? Matt and I look at each other and shrug. Luckily a kind seasoned visitor to this grand rugby ground tells us to turn right and follow the crowd. True to his word we turn right and looming ahead is the stadium. A quick stop in the team shop, shirt, for me, shirt for our granddaughter and a scarf on board we are ready to enter the Tigers den. Thank you Matt for enduring our side trip to Loughborough and my overflowing excitement. What a day!

New PainScale

When you suffer from a pain disorder the doctors and health care staff always ask you To rate your pain.  This normally consists of the standard 0-10 scale with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you can imagine. I would like to propose a more intuitive scale, a bit more user friendly perhaps. A number just doesn’t sum it up.  Here are a few of my top pain analogies that I think are better than the number scale.

First, we start with the “I feel like I’ve just come out of the tumble dryer.” Which is marginally better than the “I feel like I’ve been thrown down a flight of stairs.”. At other times the pain is more specific  an example of this would be “someone is using me as a Voodoo doll!”  I think you will agree this type of description far exceeds the traditional number scale.  If you have any other suggestions I will happily add them this new system.

I could never be a weather person

Being the control freak that I am I could never do a job where I knew I was going to be wrong the majority of the time, no matter what I said!  Why the weather theme today?  Well, we were told just yesterday that we were “officially” in a draught (in our part of England).  Today I am sitting in an office on the corner of building and I’m surrounded by huge windows.  Watching the wind  whip the RAIN into a frenzy.  It is lashing so hard against the windows that if feels more like a car wash than an office!  I am grateful for the rain, as I don’t want us to be in a draught but I started thinking about those poor buggers who have to try to predict what Mother Nature is going to do.  It seems she does have a good sense of humour though.  I’m sure she was thinking “okay, official draught well that means rain is on the agenda for tomorrow, let’s see what they do with that!”  I wonder what Mother Nature has in store for this weekend because the weather people have called for “balmy temperatures”.  Bets anyone?

Welford Road…at last!

I am finally going to see the Leicester Tigers play a Premiership game.  I’m going this Saturday with my step  son…wow that still sounds strange when I say it.  We are going to the temple of British rugby and I cannot wait.  You know I love my rugby and I am prone to shout at the telly when something exciting happens.  If you watched last Sunday’s game you can imagine what was happening in our living room.  The Tigers were down by 2 points and they waited until the clock had 83 minutes on it, (for non rugby people this is 3 minutes into extra time and one dead ball ends the game), before they attempted a drop goal.  The Captain stepped up and took the kick himself (I love good leadership).  I held my breath as the ball wobbled over and they won 20-19.  I finally exhaled and felt exhausted from the effort of watching this heart stopping match.  As exciting as it was I’m not sure my blood pressure could take another one of those this week.  Watch this space for the update after Saturday’s match.


You  may be able to tell from the title of this post that I am not a happy bunny! I had to make the trip into London today.  Now I have worked out a method that allows me to make this journey without completely kicking my butt on the physical front. I take the train from from my local station right into St Pancras no issue here it is a breeze. Then I take a cab from St Pancras to Waterloo to avoid the tube and the 1 mile walk from St Pancras. I then take a train from Waterloo to Richmond (this is where my office is located).  So, the last leg of the trip from the station to the office is a 10-12 minute walk for the average person. However, for those of us who use a cane or other device to assist our walking it is a difficult walk.  Loads of cobblestones and old pavements (sidewalk) for the American readers. I opt to take a cab the short distance to be safe. The issue arises here. Due to the fact that this is a very short trip for a cabbie many of them are not very happy to take me. Some of the drivers have even been rude and borderline abusive, today I got one of those guys. I am always nice and I apologise in advance for the hassle. This I still not enough for some people. My driver today told me sarcastically that I “had mad his day!” (which is ironic considering my earlier post this morning), he went on to say he had waited at that rank for an hour and now what was he going get for it? “nothing!”  I apologised again but it made no difference. Besides being polite I also always pay them more than the metered fare.  I’m not sure what more I can do. I need a cane to walk, believe me if I had a choice I would love for it to be otherwise. Also, there are parts of all of our jobs that we don’t like but you deal with them. How many of us could get away with complaining to a customer for giving us business regardless of the size of the job. If we did complain I’d hazard to say we wouldn’t have that job for long.  So, what did I do.? Did I give the guy my standard over the odds fare? Or did I give him some abuse back, which would have been difficult as he was still complaining! I chose to take the higher road. The fare came to £3.40 so I gave him £10.00 in the hopes that he stops to examine his behaviour and doesn’t treat the next disabled person or anyone else that way in the future. I was hoping that when I gave him the tenner that he might say something.  Bets please…what do you think he said? Drumroll please…he said NOTHING!!  As I stood there with my mouth hanging open I thought “so much for teaching this guy a lesson” and I felt like a total prat. Upon reflection though I still think it was the right thing to do any who knows maybe he did think about after he drove off…I sure hope so.

It’s Monday…yuck

It’s Monday…ewwwHello Folks, it is Monday, for some the Monday after half term and maybe a holiday…which makes going back to work an even greater challenge. For the rest of us it is still hard to get motivated. So what can we do to make today a little bit easier to deal with? I have an idea, a bit of a fun challenge for you. I challenge you to make someone’s day.  Not in the style of Clint Eastwood but rather truly make at least one person’s day better.  Maybe you will choose “Mr Grumpy” at work, make him crack a genuine smile.  Or it could be the ultra professional and efficient person who you have thought in the past, could be a robot , because they don’t ever interact unless it is business.  With this person you might endeavour to find out something about them outside of work.  Maybe there is a person you work with who is going through a really tough time and just maybe you could make their day a little better.  Now I am not talking about having a massive, life changing, impact on this person just do something to make their day or their hour a bit better.  I hope that what we all find is that it has also given us a bit of a boost as well.  That is it, the gauntlet has been thrown down.  Send me a comment and let me know what you did today.

Rugby…my favourite sport

Being American it is in my genetic make up to respond to the question, “what is your favourite sport?” with the answer “baseball”. However, if you were to ask me today I would say rugby. Yes, I would feel guilty for betraying the truly American innate baseball answer, but it would be my honest response. When you compare the toughness factor of American football players to rugby players there is no real comparison. Football players wear the equivalent of body amour and a 2 inch thick padded helmet to protect them. Rugby players wear shirts, shorts and occasionally a scrum cap which is little more than a shower cap compared to the football helmet!  Rugby players wear the same kit regardless of the temperature and weather conditions. American football players add things like hand warmers, tights and gloves when it gets a bit too chilly. All of these things add to the toughness factor of rugby players then you have to consider the pure physical element. A rugby player can go into a scrum and come out with an open bleeding head wound, then head straight into the next play, the referee will have to send him off for a blood replacement. Said player will reluctantly go to the locker room for any number of stitches and be back on the touch line, bouncing up and down so the ref sees him to let him back on to the field! An American football player dislocates a finger and goes on injured reserve for 6 weeks! A rugby player dislocates a finger and the physio wrenches it back into place during a water break and the player never misses a play. Now that is tough! How could you not love this sport?