Monthly Archives: January 2007


I wanted to write something about this for a while, but haven’t been able to find the right words. Two friends have done a much better job at finding the words than I can. But I’ll have a go.

These past couple of months certainly haven’t been easy. The only other funeral I’ve been to was my Gran’s, who was nearly 93 when she died. And its very different greiving for a 23 year old. Someone my age. My peer. My friend. When I think about the circumstances, all I can think is ‘but why?’. As I said to Pippa after the church service, ‘we shouldn’t have to do this’. We just shouldn’t. Especially when Michael was such an amazing, good natured, young man.

As Wood spoke about, reactions of others can be interesting. Numerous of my coursemates asked me if I was doing / had done anything good at the weekend. Its hard to know whether to tell people everything and deal with their shocked silence, or to simply say something vague and non-descriptive. I tend to do a mixture, depending on how I was feeling and who I was speaking to.

Saturday was a very odd day. At the start of the day, it hadn’t really sunk in what I was going to. Why I was making this journey from Manchester northwards. Of course I knew, just the reality of it really hadn’t hit yet. Until the coffin was carried in. Then it hit. The rest of the day I experienced a mixture of sorrow, nerves and general tension. My head ached, my stomach churned and tears flowed. By the end of it I was completely drained both physically and emotionally.

The service was very well done, very Mike. It allowed us to laugh at cute childhood tales, remember the good times we spent with him and say goodbye. Very fittingly Canaan’s Land was played, although I don’t know how the song expects there not to be a teared-dimmed eye!

I’d like to finish with a few lines of a song I found myself listening to on the journey both there and back. Its a song called Some of Us by Martyn Joseph and it seemed to sum up so much.

Some of us are present
Some of us have gone
Some of us are restless
We wait in this place
Between the vale of circumstance
Waiting for Grace

Since posting this, I have found numerous other wibloggers entries about the funeral, all of which are of great value. It doesn’t matter how well something is written, its the thought and the personal value of it that counts, so all blog posts are appreciated. Sorry if I’ve missed anyone out, I don’t have time to read everybodys wiblogs these days.

Kite Flying

This afternoon, after my lectures, I enjoyed the perfect break away from everything by going down to the beach with John and flying one of my kites. It was amazing because the sun was setting rather spectacularly, directly in front of us and the wind was so strong we felt like we were going to be lifted right off the ground! As there was two of us, we took turns in flying the kite and running manically around the beach taking photos and relaunching the kite. And between us we got some pretty nice photos…

Swansea bay with amazing sun Flying kite into the sunset

Jen flying her kite into the sunset Kite above Sunset Jen flying her rainbow kite

My days in Swansea are numbered

I’m going to have finished my degree this summer. How scary is that?! I can’t believe how fast it has gone and I’m certain that the next 7 months are going to fly by. Which of course, leads to the scary prospect of trying to find a job. Hmm. Harder than it sounds. A lot of the nurses from Swansea who qualified last summer still haven’t been able to find a paediatric nursing job. And in this line of work, if you stay unemployed for any length of time, its a lot harder to find a job because you become deskilled.

Ideally I would *love* to be able to stay in Swansea. But, at the moment, that possibility isn’t going to happen. There simply aren’t any jobs. And most of my 20 coursemates would also like a job in Swansea. So I’m trying to become accustomed to the fact that I’m going to be moving away in the summer. And as I recently found out my final, 3 month placement is away from Swansea, then I’ll be practically moving away in May. At least, I won’t be around much from May onwards.

This placement however, was my second request so I can’t complain about it too much. I chose it because its the same place as I was last summer, which means it’ll be easy to settle back into which is v.important for the management placement. And I did mostly enjoy it there last year. Its just the fact that it cuts my time in Swansea down by 3 months, that makes it disappointing.

Swansea during the past 2 years has become home. My friends are here. My support network is mostly here, or only a phonecall away. And I just love everything about it – the sea, the Gower, the proxminity to the Brecons and Pembrokeshire. The way I can walk to most of the places I regularly go – the sea, uni, church, friends houses and the town centre are all easy walking distance. There is no doubt about it – I will miss Swansea and all the people who live there, an awful lot.

Ramblin’ for Ramblin’ Folkie’s Birthday

Sarah decided she wanted to climb a hill for her brithday. So today, those that were crazy enough to brave the weather, climbed a hill near Brecon. Afterwards we met those who had responsibility for young children / prefered a quieter day in Brecon, for a pub lunch in Brecon.

Overall it was a fab day. Many thanks to Sarah for organising it. When you’re practically getting blown off a mountain by gale force winds and constant rain, it was very easy to think ‘whose idea was this?!’ (When I did actually say this, I looked at Sarah, and she just grinned back at me!) But it was still fun. And the sense of achievement at the end of it all is amazing. Even if your legs do ache a bit…

That was the other thing as well, my knee. I hadn’t been hiking on it properly since I injured it last Feburary. Not necessarily because I felt I couldn’t the entire time, but because there wasn’t an opportunity to do so. But going back to a similiar place as where I did the orginal injury, I was understandibly apprehensive about it. I found it affected my confidence when going down steep sections. Not sure whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. It ensured I was more cautious, because I think the reason why I fell last time was because I got over confident on the steep bit. But then I often felt today as if I was being overly careful and nervous.

In terms of my knee hurting – it was fine on the walk, although I did make sure I wore my bandage for extra support. Tonight both of my legs are aching, as they do following a hike especially when I haven’t hiked for so long. But my knee is hurting *slightly* more than anything else. Shrug. I dunno, I think its alright.

Anyway, enough about my knee. Heres some photos from the days outing and theres more on my flickr account.

Pointing the way!! )

In the pub Benjamin asleep in the window of the pub!

Happy New Year

Yes, ok.. I know I’m a week late. I’ve just been a bit busy with real life recently to say it yet here.

I came back to Swansea for new year, and celebrated it at Sarah and Alice’s, which was v.good. Alice organised some fab party games such as pictionary, charades and the newspaper game, which were much enjoyed. And of course, the consumption of a glass or two of wine made them interesting!

Since then I’ve been busy working on my dissertation, which I have just finalised and printed out!! 😀 😀 😀 I just have to hand it in tomorrow. It is quite exicting, although I must remember that its only half of it – its split into two halves, and the rest of it isn’t due in till May. This morning, however, we were given an ‘introduction to the module’ and the lecturer was explaining the next section of it to us. Most people hadn’t finished the first half (which is due in tomorrow), so couldn’t really get their heads around the next assignment! After talking to my coursemates this morning, I was very glad to have got a large amount of it done before Christmas, because most of them had had a v.stressful time over Christmas with their work. It was fantastic knowing I could have a break before coming back to finish it off. And now it feels even better knowing that I’ve finished it!!! Tomorrow night I’m going to be in the Ryddings enjoying a celebratory pint, if anyone fancies joining me. 🙂

As well as finishing off my dissertation and catching up with Swansea friends, I’ve also been to London for a few days. Spent a brilliant few days with John. I met more of his friends and family, and introduced him to one of my friends, just to balance it out slightly! 😉 We also managed a fair amount of sight seeing, including the London Eye (just seeing it, can’t afford to go in it!), the Musuem of Childhood and an amazing rainbow church.

The London Eye An absolutely amazing church

Merry-go-round in Leicester Square Big Ben