Friday, 23 July 2010

Down to Earth with a Bump

Chagstock was amazing. Cleverly laid out, well organised, not too wet and with amazing bands – notably The Bad Shepherds, With Nell and Eye and The Hoosiers. The main stage was set up so you could see the tors of Dartmoor in behind and it was just beautiful. Camping was successful and we didn’t get blown away in the fierce gales of Saturday night. I had to get my Dad to run my coat out because it was much, much colder than I was anticipating, but it was my first festival so I’m allowing myself that one oversight and it’s not like I was far from home. I’m looking forward to the early bird tickets released for next year.

The guys I’ve been coxing have come on really well this week and I’m confident for Greenbank Falmouth Regatta this weekend. Balance isn’t all there yet but everything else is looking good. I also had a phone call from mr who has succeeded in not gaining any extra holes or broken bits and has nearly finished his exercise.

That’s all the good stuff done, now for the rant. Student Finance England is just the most useless company I have ever come across. I cannot believe they are entrusted with such an important task when they appear to be completely incompetent. I appreciate it’s a big undertaking, organising the finance for all the people that go to uni. But I expect a team of children could do a better job than them. I’m not sure that I’ve had even one year of funding that’s gone smoothly.

I had an email telling me I had been assessed and the results were on my account online. I checked, and that just said they were awaiting financial info from my parents, which I sent to them in the middle of June. The rest of it still said I had asked for the maximum but was entitled to nothing. I rang them and they said they’d done an initial assessment on a non-means tested basis and the assessors had decided I was entitled to nothing. They received my parents’ financial information on 16th June and had scanned it on the 29th June and were so far up to processing the 24th June. They have now decided they want a letter form my Mum confirming she is a housewife and dependent financially on Dad, which they hadn’t asked for when I called in May. Also when I called in May they confirmed to me I would be entitled to a fee loan. No one will tell me what has changed since then, and usefully the guy I spoke to noted on my records I had called and he had asked for the passport and financial evidence, but not that I had funding confirmed. I’m so upset; I just don’t know what to do. If they had told me from the off that I wouldn’t get funding, I wouldn’t mind so much, but the fact that for all this time I’ve thought I’d be covered… Plus with their backlog they won’t get to the letter from my Mum in time before I start the course. It’s just a mess, they’re pants. And I was in such a good mood this morning as well. Why do I want to go to med school again? At every turn something tries to stop me.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Shiny Happy Bean

Today finds me really happy :) I had some lovely comments on my last post, which always makes me smile. Thank you, they really do mean a lot to me. It’s Chagstock on Friday and aaarrrrghhh I’m super excited!!!! Even though it is tipping it down with rain so it’s going to be really muddy and apart from wellies I have no idea what you’re supposed to wear to a festival.
We’ve had bees in our shed at home for the last couple of weeks. I used to be of the sensible opinion that if you weren’t screaming and flapping your arms like a loon they’d leave you alone – until I went to Corfu and was happily reading a book on a sun lounger on the beach when a wasp landed on my eyebrow and stung me :( Can’t do buzzy things now. The freezer and tumble dryer are in the shed and you have to go in and shut the door behind you so you have enough room to open the freezer door. The bottom of the shed door has some holes in it, and I was finding bees would hover outside trying to get in. So last week I was in the shed nicely asking the bees outside to leave the door alone so I could leave when I noticed two bees crawling out from under the freezer behind me. Queue much eeping and running away covering my face so the bees don’t get me. 0_0 Impending doom from the front and behind?! Couldn’t just pretend the hovering bees weren’t just the same two curious bees all the time now. After researching what to do with bees and calling the local beekeeping man (who didn’t offer to come and pick them up and take them away like the internet said he would) dad soaked the nest with soapy water (they can’t fly if they’re covered in soapy water) and they all died and he took the nest away. The shed is now bee free. The nest was huge though, I saw it when he took it out, it was massive and made of paper. I do feel a little sad that they all had to die. I was hoping the beekeeper man would come and re-home them, but at least I’ve finally stopped itching all over thinking I have bees crawling all over me.
When I got home from work last week mum gave me a message that occupational health called and I was to ring them back the next day. There was sooo much fretting going on that night – “But, they’ve cleared me now and given me my offer. They can’t revoke it, what’s the problem?” Panic, panic. Well the next day when I called it turns out they couldn’t find my antigen test results and were trying to ask me to get the test done. Sigh, that palaver again! Admissions def said they had all my paperwork, so I’m not bothered. It’s their problem if they haven’t sent it to OH.
Exeter Regatta went well and it was lovely and sunny. I stroked the novice race and we won our heat but lost the final. We would have lost anyway, but one of the girls fell of her seat so we lost contention for second. I swapped to bow and we lost the Senior C race too. It was a pants race, not our best row at all. I then swapped to cox and coxed the mixed novice 4 to a fantastic win, easily 2-3 lengths ahead of the opposition. Winning that heat really improved my confidence as a stroke too; I was grinning all day. On Thursday I’m going sculling for the first time. I’m quite nervous as it requires a lot of balance which isn’t my strongest point, but it makes me happy that soon I will be able to do everything there is to do involving rowing – like I’m some uber-rower or something. I can sweep, scull, do bow side, do stroke side, cox and coach.
I spent all of yesterday teaching someone how to do something on Excel. Out comes the geek in me again, but I was teaching her all of my shortcuts and tricks and by then end of it she’d really picked things up and was confident in coding things herself. I really enjoy teaching. I love watching people progress from clueless, to supervised, to understanding, to confident, and seeing how happy they are with themselves that they’ve done it – they’ve learnt a new skill. I’m really happy Doctors get to teach newbies coming up through the ranks. I hope that’s one aspect of my job I’m really going to enjoy.
There is one sad point, which is that mr’s on exercise. He’s in Scotland for two weeks being beasted and eaten alive by mossies. Eeep, he’s also doing a live fire exercise – no more blank rounds. I’ve told him he can’t get injured because the holiday is non-refundable, lol, as though getting injured was perfectly acceptable normally. But the really sad part, is that although I miss him because I can’t talk to him, I don’t miss him as much as I think I should. I know that it’s because I’m busy with work and rowing and God Daughter’s present (there’s rumours of christening date finally being set – she’s 18 months but her mum was very ill when she was first born and the family own a small business that hasn’t been doing very well with the recession) and all the exciting things coming up, but I can’t help but feel I’m being a bad girlfriend not missing him more. There’s certainly something to be said for keeping busy to keep your mind off things I guess. Either that or I’m being sensible and grown up and not a lovesick teenager. Meh. *Smiley waving good bye*

Friday, 9 July 2010


At 15.45 on Thursday after I last post I got the email I’d been waiting for: “The status of your application has changed”, and when I logged in to confirm, even though I knew what it would say - I had to see it for myself - I saw that magic word: unconditional. Absolutely nothing can stop me from taking my place now. Well, barring a freak accident of course, but still. :) *touch wood

Mr came down for his long weekend off from Sandhurst which was lovely. I know I’ve seen him every weekend for the last three, but now we’re both busy until he commissions in 6 weeks time. It was so nice to have him to come home to after work, and I finally beat him at a game on the Wii. Granted it was Mario Party 8, but a win’s a win!
In rowing news it’s our home town regatta tomorrow and we are certainly not going to win that. Training has been going disastrously, with people skipping training for holidays, bruises, or because they were going out the night before and didn’t want the early start. I’m supposed to be stroking for the Novice race, and the practice Tuesday went so bad I wanted to cry. Thursday was a bit better and we were starting to look promising but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for Saturday. If it’s any consolation, the girl that strokes our boat for the Senior C race we’re entering doesn’t do that much better of a job, so I’m encouraged that it’s the boat as a whole and not just me. I can’t wait to get out of this crew and back to university rowing. It’s a shame because the boats are better here and there are so many small regattas locally it should be easy to pick up points and progress through the levels but my crew just aren’t pulling together, and woe betides anyone who tries to tell them what to do. *Sigh.

It possibly didn’t help that when I went rowing Tuesday I was in a mood, and when I went Thursday I was super bouncy happy because of a couple of reasons. 1) Chagstock tickets arrived. 2) I booked a holiday!! It will be my first time on holiday abroad without my parents and with mr. We’re going in his break between Sandhurst and Stage 2 training which unfortunately is only 2 weeks long, right at the end of the school summer holidays. It was nigh on impossible to pick up any cheap deals anywhere vaguely decent but I’m confident I’ve found a good deal. It’s a nice all inclusive in Majorca. I can’t wait. 7 nights in the sun and I can get a lovely tan before I start uni.

So wish me luck for tomorrow guys and I’ll leave you with a link to this fantastic blog I found. It’s a great insight into being a patient with Cystic Fibrosis and I was amazed by her strength and lust for life. She had such a fantastic way with words and I’m truly sorry I didn’t find her blog sooner. She has changed my outlook on life and the way I hope I will be able to view patients with her post on living her life to the full the best she can and how she wants to instead of being dictated by her disease and hiding from opportunities in case they complicated her symptoms. Eva Markvoort - 65redroses. Enjoy your weekend people.