Monthly Archives: May 2009

Hen Night

So I got back from holiday on Friday and suddenly had to think about the hen night I’d been invited to on Saturday. The email stated that we needed to wear a dress, bring 2 peices of ribbon, picnic food (specifically including a cup cake) and drink. After examining my wardrobe I realised that the only dresses I owned were either a ball gown dress or distinivitely wintery dresses (velvet and three quarter sleeves aren’t exactly appropriate in this heat!). So I went dress shopping.

If Mr B had been around then he would have come too – he’s surprisingly good at picking out clothes that I like and that complement my figure. And it would have been much more bearable. Don’t get me wrong, I mostly like shopping, but none of the dresses I looked at for the first 2 hours were anything like what I wanted. I imagined finding a nice, light, casual(ish) summer dress. I kept on passing people wearing such items, but couldn’t find anything that wasn’t horrible in the shops. After a while I thought that I should open my mind up to other alternatives – go for something I wouldn’t normally buy, or not without a good friend or Mr B’s encouragement anyway. So I found this shop which seemed to sell unique items, possibly made by the shop owners, but they were suprisingly cheap. So I tried on a few. They were quite difficult to get into – they all had bits of material that needed tying in strange ways. But I figured it out. And they looked alright on me. I just felt like I was lacking that encouragement from a shopping partner. So, I took a photograph of my mirror image with my phone, and sent it to Mr B, asking for a opinion. Which I thought was quite a good idea. Whilst I was waiting on a reply, I decided which dress I prefered, and as I was going to till to buy it I received a message back assuring me that it looked v.nice.

Having sorted the dress problem, I headed in search of an ice cream. Thornton’s seemed like a good idea, so I picked out the mint choc chip flavour, and as I was waiting for it I noticed they had discounted (soon to be out-dated) chocolates from valentines day by the till. And there was some ribbon tying the box together. So I purchased them as well, solving the ribbon problem. I then headed to M&S and bought some nice picnic food to share, including a cup cake, before I headed home.

It was then that I began to think about how I was going to get to this party. It was being held in a park the other side of the city. Mr B had the car out of town, so driving was out of the question. A bus would only take me half way there, which seemed a bit silly. So I decided that cycling would make sense. My dress had enough flexibility in it. So after relaxing, showering and getting ready, I packed up my picnic food, 2 bottles of wine, the ribbon, my bike lights and sunglasses, and strapped everything to the back of my bike. It was only once I’d started cycling that I began to realise how much of a breeze there was. And my dress had a slit up either side, creating a lovely flap. So I had to cycle with one hand on my dress. It was fine when I was going downhill, because I free-wheeled so my dress stayed in the one place. Towards the end I had to go uphill, so I gave up and pushed.

The picnic was lovely. It was a gorgeous summers evening, and we sat on the grass, in our dresses, eating lots and drinking more. There was a funny quiz game for the hen, where she had to guess what answers her fiance had given. And then we had to find men with different characteristics and get them to kiss us. This mostly involved telling male passer-bys that we were on a hen night and we needed to get them to kiss us because they had X characteristic. Most abliged a kiss on the cheek, only a couple ran away in terror.

One of the bottles of wine I’d brought was a bottle of homemade rubbard and raspberry wine, which tasted just like fruit juice. But given how tipsy I ended up, I’m guessing it isn’t just like fruit juice… When it was beginning to get dark we cleared up our clutter and moved to a local bar and the drunker of our party decided they *had* to complete their kissing challenges. I decided I was drunk enough and I still had to get myself and my bike home, so I said farewell. But it was a v.good evening.


Hmm, apparently that’s “medium”… :S
Apologies if you’ve visited in the last half an hour – I’m trying to get these silly photos as I want them!

That’s better. Although I do think there should be a size between the ‘medium’ (as it is now) and the ‘large’ which covered the entire page!

Holiday Photos


If anyone is particularly interested in looking at lots of pictures of excavated Roman sites then let me know! I took quite a few photos on holiday, although surprisingly enough hardly any of them seemed to have The Wall in them. I think this was because it took two and a half days of walking to get to the first bit of wall, the fourth day we had a semi-rest day, and we didn’t see very much of it on day five and six. There was lots of other interesting stuff though! And some gorgeous scenary.


Mr B and I are currently enjoying a 2 week holiday away from work. Last week we walked (most of) Hadrian’s Wall. It went well. The first couple of days were tough, because we weren’t used to carrying our big rucksacks for 10 miles a day. But surprisingly, after that, we got used to it and we got quicker and less achy. It didn’t help that during the first 2 days the ‘Hadrian’s Wall bus’ didn’t go along that bit of the wall. On the second day by 5pm we’d done 10 miles and still had another 5 to go, the strong wind had been blowing in our faces all afternoon and we were knackered, so we called for a taxi. Which seemed like a cop out, but I think it was the sensible thing to do. In the middle of the week we had a rest day, where we went to Vindolanda and the Roman Army museum, caught the bus inbetween the two, and then walked 4 miles to the B&B. I was very impressed with Vindalanda – they are constantly excavating and the number of roman artifacts they’ve found is really quite amazing.

My ankle didn’t hurt half as much as I was expecting it to. I wore my support bandage, took ibuprofen everyday and used my walking poles, and it was fine. Occasionally it would be a bit sore, but nothing like it was doing with my 12 hour shifts. I had thought that maybe it was better, but then yesterday when we were walking around shops, it was more sore again. Maybe it’s to do with the shoes I’m wearing or the different kind of strains on it.

We’re now on the second half of our holiday – a relaxing week in Birmingham. The only responsibilities we have is to look after 13 animals… it’s not as bad as it sounds. We’re looking after a dog, and a cat… and the cat next door whose owner has had a stroke, and 10 fish. It was sold as ‘dog-sitting’ whilst it’s family (close friends of Mr B’s) go to Spain. But then when we got here we were also given instructions about the cats and the fish (which they’d only acquired the day before!). Its fine though, the cats only really need feeding, and the dog’s quite old so he sleeps a lot. And the fish… well, I haven’t seen any of them yet. They’re outside in a barrell, fulled with cloudy water and a few plants. And I’m beginning to think they might all be dead. Either because the water doesn’t have enough oxygen or because a heron has eaten them. Or they could just be hiding at the bottom and eating natural food rather than the food I’ve put in. I got the impression they were more of an experiment and the family haven’t had chance to become attached yet, so if any of them are going to die, I’m glad its the fish!

As well as caring for the menagery, we’re going to do touristy stuff in Birmingham – go to museums, parks and generally relax. Until Friday anyway, when Mr B goes off to work at a festival and I go back home.


Yesterday I referred myself to the physios (a service the trust provides), as my ankle has been playing up, and one of them rang me back this afternoon.  I spent some time answering lots of questions and moving my foot in different directions and describing the pain.  And at the end of it all she said she didn’t think my ankle was sprained.  Which actually makes sense because I don’t remember twisting it, it was more of a gradual increase in pain over several days.  She thinks I’ve damaged a tendon in my foot.  She’s requested an ‘urgent’ appointment for me.  Which means it should be sent out in the next 10 days.  In the meantime sh has recommended some exercises and said I should keep active on it, but also rest it.

It’s this exercise / rest balance which has been casuing some issues, especially with work.  Initially after the doctor told me it was sprained, I phoned up work and arranged my shifts for the next 5 or 6 days, so that I had some time off.  I would have had more time off, but they rang me back, desperate for me to do a short shift (7.5 hours) because they were short staffed.  I agreed, and I managed without too much difficulty.  Then because I was ‘back’ from being ‘off sick’, the sisters assumed I could do the night after.  Nights are generally quieter than days, so I figured I could managed.  Which I did, just about.  Then the problem was, that as I’d managed to do a 12 hour shift with my bad ankle, I didn’t feel comfortable demanding that my shifts this week should be changed to short shifts.  So I carried on with my shifts as scheduled.  I did long days on Wednesday and Thursday, both of which werer really busy, and at the end of it – surprise surprise, my foot was swollen and painful.

I wanted to say something about it sooner than I did, but it was so busy, and the nurse in charge on those days wasn’t the most approachable person.  So I kept on putting it off.  All the time, getting more and more nervous about the whole thing.  Anyway, luckily my team leader was in charge last night, so I rang up and told him all about it.  He was lovely.  He insisted that I shouldn’t  do any more shifts this week, and he changed my shifts for next week to short shifts.  After that I’m on annual leave for 2 weeks.

Which would be perfect timing.  Except that we’ve planned and booked to walk across Hadrian’s Wall in the first week.  I really don’t want it to wreck up our holiday – either by my ankle being too sore to walk at all, meaning we have to travel by public transport, or by walking too much and being in too much pain to enjoy the scenary.  We’re still going to go.  And we’re going to take each day as it comes.  I just wish I could click my fingers and make my ankle better.