phantym_56: (Default)


(hence awake still at 3.34am)

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phantym_56: (ed - reunited - win)
It has been a pretty good-ok-ish sort of day. I have slept ok for the last two nights so that helps a lot, catching up on the sleep I missed Sunday night. Unfortunately, I did eat last night before bed, a couple of slices of toast and a handful of cheesy biscuits, I think, so not much and quite early on too, but not being very good at the whole food thing, I woke up at god-knows-what-time feeling very very sick. This generally happens if I've eaten cheese after about 9pm but I had no cheese yesterday. I haven't had cheese since Sunday. Anyway, after lying very still for a while and trying to sit up a bit, I must have fallen asleep again fairly quickly.

It got to about 10am before I remembered I didn't have breakfast. This isn't unusual, I generally don't bother having breakfast if I've got to go to work and it's a really bad habit and I really should force myself out of bed ten or twenty minutes earlier to make time for it. But at 10, I suddenly realised I was really really hungry. For some reason, if I don't eat before bed, I'm not hungry the next day. If I do eat before bed, I'm invariably starving in the morning. And I was starving! And then Mandy came over at lunchtime to do some Brownie planning so I didn't get any lunch either *cries*

It's odd how lack of food affects your mood. Despite the fact that I come to LJ to whine and cry and be sad and angry and unleash a gamut of negative emotions I don't get to display in real life, the flesh-and-blood me is generally sunny-tempered, or at the very least placid and even-tempered. But this afternoon... I could feel this hunger-induced despair. Things that shouldn't have been upsetting me were - I won't even start on the saga of the chocolate biscuits. I was resentful of everyone else in the room who had eaten in the last twelve hours, I was starting to have trouble getting a thought together (although this may be the stress of covering the work of two people who are away - I'm half trained in their work, but I'm office admin and crap jobs, not order processing and I suspect it would be just as quick for the order people to do the orders themselves than to have to keep answering my questions)

Anyway. Then I went snowboarding. I had to buy a new pass because I finished my one last time. Accidentally bought ten hours instead of five but never mind. I've got through four passes in the last two years so I will be using those five hours eventually but that's twenty half-hour sessions. If I go twice a month, that's ten months it'll last! There were some Explorers coming to play on the ringos, using half the slope and possibly straying onto the other half. They apologised that I probably wouldn't get much snowboarding done. "Obviously, we won't take any time off your pass for tonight...." Sweet. I like the snowboarding lot. They do give me a free night from time to time. When it's half term and there are ten thousand kids learning to ski so the queue for the lift is eight miles long and you only manage three descents in the half hour - I got that night for free as well.

The "Explorers" looked familiar, or their t-shirts did. After I'd finished and put my normal shoes back on, I approached their leader and asked if they were Rangers. They were indeed and we spent half an hour chatting about Senior Section. She's given me some interesting ideas to discuss with my own girls and also given me a flyer about an activity challenge camp for the entire county that has somehow not made it to my neck of the woods. It looks great. I really hope my girls would like to go. All sorts of activities for £20, finishing up the night with a barbecue. And then I got home at 7.30pm and finally got to have some food. Been awake eleven and a half hours, done a day's work and been snowboarding and only just getting the first morsels of food in me. Well done there. I would make a good anorexic because I can go quite a long time without food. I would make a bad anorexic because I hate it and it would make me cry all the time.

And finally, I've decided to go ahead and have a go at the Walking Qualification. I picked up the book last time I was at CHQ, flicked through, shuddered and put it down. But I'll be brave. I'm a qualified leader, now I will do an activity qualification. I will get in touch with the County Outdoors Advisor to see how I go about doing the qualification - will it at any point involve a weekend at one of the training centres? I will order the book tonight, it'll arrive next week and I can have a look through and see how plausible it really looks.
phantym_56: (ed - sleeeepy)

Amazing how even a district meeting hasn't dampened my bright mood.

It went easier without Mandy, to be honest. She's one of my best friends but the new DC summed it up best when talking about how close she is to having last year's accounts finished: "I think she's going to have a nervous breakdown in the next few days." That's what Mandy sounds like. All the time. In a small room with several people who don't know her too well... it can sound pretty bad. And it's much easier and calmer when she's not there. On the other hand, I had our new leader with me. You know when you watch a film that you've already seen with someone who hasn't seen it and you spend the whole time worrying about what that person thinks of it, you're going "Oh God, she hates it, this is the worst thing ever!" etc? I felt very responsible for her, as if it was my fault if she was bored. Almost as if I had to find some way of making the meeting better. In reality, I sit there and keep my mouth shut, with or without Mandy because that's not the sort of situation where I really function best.

Anyway. I've got the rocky road ingredients. I've managed to break up the chocolate without opening the packet and I suddenly realise what a daunting job I've got in the morning, cutting up Maltesers and marshmallows and biscuits. I'm not hugely fond of my Dearly Beloved Boss (you may have gathered this) but his rocky road recipe is chocolate heaven. I shall hand it to you.

Mix of dark and mik chocolate

My sister has also added a sprinkling of popping candy. Her boyfriend likes to add excessive amounts of fudge. I don't like fudge; I also don't like glace cherries.

All of a sudden I'm very tired. It's nearly 11 at night. I didn't go to bed until nearly midnight last night and I was having a bit of trouble sleeping the night before. Got home tonight and was staggered by the number of stars visible from my front garden. Not sure I've ever seen stars from the house. Beautiful. And on that non-sequiteur, I bid you goodnight.

phantym_56: (ed - reunited - win)
Today is the first day in over a week I've felt bright. The feeling that I'm coming down with something has lifted and taken any potential "something" with it, along with the misery that tends to come with not feeling brilliant. Also, the sun is out. This is probably not connected.

I'm off to London on Friday. Seeing Ed Byrne at Hammersmith Apollo in the evening, drinking with mates afterwards and then spending Saturday meeting up with my best friend from uni. I lived with her in my third and fourth year, she was one of my Anglophone Triplets when we all lived in Switzerland, she's third only to Jess and Annie in my affections and we haven't so much as texted each other since we graduated nearly four years ago. She went to live and work in Korea and hasn't updated her Facebook to say she's back. She could have been back for two years, for all I know. Anyway, she popped up on chat the other day, we said "oh, we should meet up sometime." And well, I got sick of my mates saying that to me last summer and then not coming through so I suggested that since I was staying overnight in London on April 8th, maybe we should meet there on the Saturday. And we're going to. Well-meaning intentions like that are useless unless you actually do something about it.

Unfortunately I've got a district meeting tonight right out in the sticks which I could really do without. Before I depart at 1pm on Friday, I need to pack, make some rocky road and paint my nails. I've squeezed in the nail painting tonight - alternating indigo and yellow - I'll get the ingredients on the way home, I'll chop it all tomorrow morning, melt & mix during lunch hour tomorrow and then get the nail tips on tomorrow evening.

I've had indigo on for the last three days and there's no cotton wool. Tissue as a nail varnish remover isn't brilliant. Not only has it left indigo marks around the edges of all my nails, it's left a faint indigo glow on them. It's taken three coats of yellow to try and hide it. No one else will notice but I will! Anyway, the yellow ones will have red tips put on tomorrow and the indigo ones will have silver tips. I like both those combinations and I couldn't settle on one or the other, so I'm alternating them.

Also, my nail painting method to ensure I've got the entire nail is to spread the colour liberally over most of my fingertip, leave to set rock-hard overnight and pick off the mess in the morning. Doing it shortly before I go out means that I'm going to be sitting in a meeting with yellow and indigo splodges everywhere. I don't think any of the leaders will notice. God, I hate district meetings and I don't really like any of these leaders either. The DC (now DivC) is one of those battleaxe women who terrify mice like me. Several of them have very prominent black moustaches. Nothing useful comes out of the meeting. It's cold, it's miles away, it's intimidating. I do have a weapon up my sleeve though - I'm qualified! And Mandy's nearly qualified! (I was insanely jealous when she Facebooked that she was done, a week or so before me. It has since transpired that yes, her mentor's signed her book off but some evidence needs amending, then said evidence and book need to be collected and sent off to county. Mine's gone! It's on GO and everything! Technically, she's not actually done! Technically, I've finished first! Took me three and a half years whereas it only took her one and a half but she's not running the unit single-handed while juggling her first ever adult job. Also, she's had a mentor since the beginning whereas I went two years without one. Etc etc. I have plenty of excuses for it taking so long. And it did. Six to twelve months is the usual. Eighteen under special circumstances.)

Time to go. Pictures of nails if I've got time. Time feels like I luxury I just don't have this week. Yes, I know. I'm wasting what little time I've got rambling about nails and qualifications.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - shower)

Even though it's 11pm and I'm tired, I want to ramble a little bit.

Brownies went ok. I hadn't factored in the speed at which we'd get through the songs or the disruptive nature of 7-10 year old girls. One in particular wanted slapping. I warmed up with Boom-chicka-boom, which is call and response. Unfortunately, this obnoxious little cow decided to take the piss and repeated everything I said for the next five minutes. Those songs we did manage to sing went ok, although I've never heard anyone make such a dirge out of On Top of Spaghetti. I must apologise for casting aspersions on Mandy's singing - yes, she's sort of not very good at all at it but on the other hand, I have seventeen tone-deaf Brownies. Not a single one is capable of producing a recognisable tune. Not one. I have to admit I spent more time shouting at them to be quiet than I did teaching them songs. And the little horrors did immediately decide they wanted to do My Little Baby Bumblebee - a song I'd deliberately left out of the songbook because I hate it. I don't like "squishing up my baby bumblebee" but I'm a severe emetophobe and I particularly hate the "sicking up my baby bumblebee" bit. (Had to giggle at Red Men. I've been singing it since I was seven - I am immune to the ickiness of that song. I no longer notice the "stir their innards in our cake" and "down among the dead men" etc but the Brownies have clearly never come across anything quite so graphic in their little lives. There were disgusted noises made. They did enjoy the chorus and the actions though.)

I think my hands are doing a little better for the hydrocortisone cream. They're still covered in bumps but I think the bumps are a little less prominent than they were. They're certainly tolerating the E45 better now - figured moisturising in between applications of steroids can't hurt - and it's not burning anymore. I have never been allergic to anything in my life and I regard this as a complete betrayal.

In which I find it ridiculously stressful trying to take another person to a comedy show with me )

I've just done the "What is your love language?" test. My result is Quality Time. See here:
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Yeah. I believe at several points I've whined/got upset (often properly upset) about everything in that last line. I have been the shy, quiet, invisible girl for most of my life - if I feel I know you well enough that I want you to notice me, then please notice me! It means I trust you lots and I value you lots and I want to be around you and it's not nice when someone you feel like that about seems to regard you as being about as important and interesting as a plant pot. (This is why I don't tend to cope well with big gatherings.The few people I'm comfortable with, understandably, want to see other people and not hang around babysitting me. This causes spirals resulting in me being hugely glad to leave. I'd much rather just go to your house when there's no one else in, or go for a walk on the hills or go to the pub. All things I can cope with. I sometimes try to deny it but I do rather like people.)

Phantym on Physical Touch )
Now I'm headachey with tiredness. Not enough sleep Saturday night between late night, early morning and the clock change. And my teeth hurt because I ate fridge-cold jelly and bit it with my broken tooth. Figured it's jelly, it's the softest food in the world, it won't hurt to bite. It does. Most things don't hurt at the time but it was cold and that hurt. Most things hurt later and it does that too! (Guess who's still never made it to the dentist?!) And you can tell how tired I am: it just took me five attempts to spell "softest" correctly. Spelling is one of the few things I'm actually good at. (My grammar leaves something to be desired. I abuse commas and semi-colons, I know, among my myriad other crimes. But I can spell. Except those things you have to learn as part of your driving test - three point turns, etc. Manoeuvres. My bete noir of spelling.)

phantym_56: (Girlguiding 100)
Oh, go on then. I know I post something like this from time to time but I think it's worth doing.

I have been involved in Girlguiding for over twenty years. I started as a Rainbow ("a Blue Rainbow" - meaning that my unit wore blue tabards, whereas the one up the road wore yellow ones, and I still have that tabard) at age four or five. Age seven I moved onto Brownies where I was first an Imp and later an Elf and later I was Sixer of the Elves. At age nearly eleven I moved onto Guides, where I was first a Kingfisher then a Chaffinch and later Patrol Leader of the Chaffinches. When I was about thirteen, my former Brown Owl spotted me and my best friend hanging around the hall before Guides and asked if we would come and be helpers (I have since learned that the correct term for Guides helping at Brownies is "Pack Leader"). When that best friend stopped going, Jess came along instead. The pack closed a couple of years later because Brown Owl had to retire and her daughter, Tawny, didn't want to run it anymore. When I reached fifteen or so, the Guiders decided I wasn't leaving of my own volition so they threw me out. They made me a Young Leader, where I remained until I was eighteen and went to university. I tried joining a group there - everyone who was interested met up one evening and details were taken but I never heard anything more. I went back to my Guides at those times when uni terms and school terms didn't quite match - the first week or two in September, end of June/July etc, kept in touch and when I graduated, I was offered leadership of the Rangers. They'd sprung up while I was away - several older girls had shown a similar disinclination to leave and as it wasn't possible to have six Young Leaders, the old Ranger unit had been reformed. The Guide Leader kept an eye on them and made sure they didn't die but they were almost completely independent, in a room of their own, organising their own activities and basically, running feral. Thus I became a Ranger Leader. Nearly two years ago, a colleague spotted an advert for a Brownie leader, since all their leaders were about to leave and unless they could find two people to run it, the pack would have to shut. She went for it. I was a little more reluctant but I couldn't let a Brownie pack close in the Centenary year so I suddenly became a Brownie Leader as well. That's my Guiding history.

It's home and family and a big part of my life. For many years I felt like I had three surrogate mothers in the Guide leaders - not so much while I was a Guide but while I was a Young Leader and then Adult Leader. I learnt a lot through them. I became an outdoorsy sort of person through it. One of the leaders was quite into walking so when I was eleven, the entire unit did their Stage 1 Walker badge. I've hiked over many a hill and heath with the Guides. I learnt to camp, and to enjoy camping. I acquired a small two-man tent for a lightweight camp, a tent I still use and love today (and am capable of pitching single handedly, in the rain, at midnight, in November, within ten minutes. I know this from experience). I have become A Person Who Camps. I learnt to cook, and for someone who doesn't eat, the ability to cook keeps me from being completely alienated food-wise. I can cook on portable gas stoves, trangias (I can also light the trangia, refill it and I can even put it back together again afterwards), buddyburners (and I can make a buddyburner), barbecues and conventional hobs. I'm now unofficial QM's assistant - I help teach Guides to cook on camp (I vividly remember one girl having trouble slicing a tomato before we discovered she was holding the knife blade-side up) and I carry on with the cooking while everyone else is eating. I can cook eggy bread, sausages, hot dogs, burgers, fried eggs, scrambled eggs, pasta, umm.... anything you'd eat on camp (Am struggling to think of anything else apart from sandwiches now). Admittedly, one of my particularly massive Guiding failures is that I can't light a wood fire but if someone else does then I know exactly how to cook a marshmallow to perfection (although I haven't mastered the art of eating the thing without getting sticky all over my face and fingers). I've learnt hundreds of songs and dances and sung and danced them under the stars, (sometimes in the rain) with a blanket draped over my shoulders. I've made juggling balls, had a failed attempt at learning to juggle and do diabolo, I've performed glo-poi in front of an entire county's worth of Senior Section I'd never met before. I've learnt to pitch and strike both canvas ridge tents and modern nylon dome tents. I can put up a marquee (with the help of at least six other people - canvas marquees are heavy and they're extremely unwieldy). I know how to storm-lash, I know how to snake-lash a draining board, I know how to lace a tent door and how to make a bedding roll. I know how to keep warm in a tent. I know how to invent and set up a wide game. I've taught semaphore and Morse. I know how to make fake wounds with a special dough and blackcurrant jam and I've done First Aid training so many times - as a Guide I got my First Aid badge, we repeated that one a couple of times during the five years I was there, as a Pack Leader I taught/helped as the Brownies did their First Aid badge and I've had to do First Aid as part of my Qualification. I can make two kinds of sling, bandage a wrist or ankle, find a pulse in wrist or neck, put someone in the recovery position, do CPR (although please don't collapse in front of me; bending over someone and blowing into their mouth makes me quite light-headed, or maybe that's just because Resusci-Annies are particularly difficult to get air into). I can read a map and follow a bearing, I can make pancakes, I can arrange flowers into a passibly pleasing arrangement, I can transport water using nothing more than a sheet of paper, I can make a paper water bomb and cute little origami boxes out of old Christmas cards. I can make a godseye, although I haven't had to in years and I hope it continues because I hate it (a cross made of sticks and then you wind acres of wool around it to make a sort of woollen kite).

I've tried so many things I wouldn't otherwise have been able to. My first experience of rock climbing. Canoeing. Pottery. Archery. Low ropes. High ropes. Quadbiking. Abseiling. Candlemaking. Glass painting and glass etching. A myriad of crafts. Wide games in the dark. Indoor camps. Camp under canvas. Even skiing (which was how I learnt about the existence of a dry ski slope half an hour away which led me to take up snowboarding).

As I look around me, my room is full of stuff I did at Guides. Little wool dolls. The shield I made as a Brownie Pack Leader on Arthur-themed indoor camp (judging from the pictures on the shield, it rained and we played marbles, made princess hats and lutes and my camp name was Gareth). An embossed tracing paper picture of an elephant in a sailing tub. Several candles in painted jars. Blue hand-made candles (including the one that melted the mould and poured molten wax all over the kitchen floor and my feet). Downstairs there's at least one engraved glass. In the spare room is a hand-sewn plate bag with an embossed leather tag that I made in 1998. Somewhere there's a toy squirrel I made on a very early camp (the infamous one on which I collapsed from low blood sugar one morning before breakfast). The fluffy foam-footed beastie I made at Brownies (first or second night as a leader). The pen I was given when my first Brownies closed. The big fluffy Trefoil Me To You bear the Guides gave me when I "left" Guides. I have cards all over the place for various reasons signed by all the Guides at whatever time the cards were made and given. I have a big Kingfisher magnet stuck to my shelf brackers and somewhere a fairly large ornamental Kingfisher because us Kingfishers, we were a club. Kingfishers were special. I have a huge great tiled mirror that's so big and so obvious I don't even notice it now. I have a little painted china basket. My current membership card (I am a "member and recognised volunteer". I wonder if I get a new card and new description now?) I have a little square canvas on which I've painted a car. I have two little orange plastic cups that accidentally came home with me from camp over five years ago. I used to have a peg doll of me made by one of the Guides (unfortunately I forget which one). In the garage there is a stripy painted metal kettle I was given "for my flat" by three Guides many moons ago. On the stairs is my camp blanket and in my sewing kit are least six badges I still haven't sewn on it. On my floor is my file full of things like "Guidance notes for Rangers" and "Everything you need to know about record-keeping. There is a Girlguiding lanyard which has the old hall keycard on it still. There are two Iron Age-style torqs beside my bed from two different camps at the reenactment campsite. In the corner, wedged behind a bookcase is a roll of window film left over from making a sitter for camp two years ago. There is evidence of the presence of Guiding in my life all over my room, all over my house and all over my character.

My point is that there's so much I've done, made, learnt and experienced. If it wasn't for Guiding, I wouldn't have become an outdoorsy person; I would never have got into caving (and without caving, who knows what my uni years would have been like?) or snowboarding, I probably wouldn't be travelling, I certainly wouldn't find myself responsible for twenty-one children who don't belong to me twice a week. It has an old-fashioned reputation; you still meet people who respond with "Oh, dib-dib-dib!" (which is Scouts and to the best of my knowledge is something even they haven't done in nearly a century anyway) and the girls still tend to keep it a secret at school and cover up their uniform in public. It still has a reputation for being the realm of "the goodie-goodie" (My Dearly Beloved Boss's sister loved Brownies for a couple of weeks until her best friend told her it's for goodie-goodies, at which point she promptly refused to go back). "Cool" people like to talk about "I got thrown out of the Brownies for swearing." No, you didn't. I don't need to have ever so much as seen your face in my life to know that didn't actually happen.

These days, I admit, it's been taken over a bit by the corporate thing and it throws around words like "empowerment" and "choice", which makes me bristle a bit because it's all buzzwords and it means nothing. There's no way to apply stuff like that to actual kids. What we can do as Leaders is make sure Rainbows/Brownies/Guides/Senior Section is available to them if they want to come, make sure the girls feel safe and happy there and that they do things they want to and get opportunities like I had. That's what. And that's why I'm a leader.
phantym_56: (Default)
Have I mentioned in the chaos of this week that as of last Tuesday I am a fully-qualified, signed-off Ranger Leader? I'm a fully-qualified Ranger Leader!! My qualification has gone off to County for verification and at some point I will receive a badge and certificate. Now I have to redo Module 1 with the Brownies to become a fully-qualified Brownie leader.

I want to do my Commonwealth Award too - it's nowhere near as big and intimidating as, say, Queen's Guide, it's about as intimidating as a Guide Interest Badge. The only potential problem is that I need to find out about Guiding and the development thereof in another Commonwealth Country. At the moment, I'm thinking of Ghana. I need to know about how Guiding began and what its aims are, I need to know about how the Commonwealth developed and about another country and its Guiding and do something practical in relation to it (ie correspond with someone, make a scrapbook, prepare a typical meal) and I need to do 20 hours community service. That's the compulsory challenges. For the optional ones I've chosen Fit For Life - choose and do a new physical activity. Got that. Cryptic new sport. I've only done it once; it's plenty new enough. And the other one is Creative Writing - write about life in your own country or tell a legend from your culture. This has to be done before I get too old to be a member of the Senior Section, ie the end of July. No problem.

I'm in charge at Brownies tomorrow. I was meant to be doing a music evening and I got it all planned out and then realised we could turn it into a campfire evening. Some floating candles in a washing up bowl (has turned into some small candles in glasses) as a campfire, cook marshmallows over tealights, sing some songs etc and we can get the Campfire Badge as designed by Croydon Rangers. I've gathered 29 songs in a unit songbook and spent hours losing my temper with the printer attempting to print ten copies. I don't know the tune of the Brownie Smile Song or Linger but as long as we stay away from those two for now, we should be ok. They're cute little books. I couldn't find packs of matching card so I have two blue books, two pink, two yellow, two green and two a sort of khaki-grey. Well, I have eight completed books. I will need to quietly and discretely print two more at work tomorrow since we've run out of paper at home and then I'll need to sneak my holepunch out so I can string the books together. No holepunches at home, unfortunately. Worst case scenario, I'll get our unit helpers to actually physically put them together while I'm teaching the girls Alice the Camel. In my years of Guiding I've amassed quite a reasonable number of songs and I've recently discovered a certain level of musical confidence I didn't know I had. This, I think, comes of teaching seventeen girls and two adults, the words and tune to Brownie Bells. Mandy, bless her heart, taught them the Brownie Song and as a result, they spent weeks missing the second half of it and still haven't grasped the tune. (Mandy allegedly learnt about 800 instruments to Grade 5 at school (above that you had to buy the instrument so when she got that far, she changed instrument) but my experience is that she's kind of tone-deaf. I am extremely untrained and struggled to scrape through Grade 3 clarinet whereupon I abandoned music lessons but I do have a very good ear.)

Being ambitious, I'd also love to get my Musical Activities Qualification. Unfortunately, for the time being, it's vanished off the website. There are murmurings that it will be available to download from the members' section, so I assume it's being overhauled. I'll put it out of my mind for now; I have my Commonwealth Award to do and it would be great to get my camp licence. And there's a walking qualification too. I just want qualifications! I did want to do the climbing and if I had it, I'd be in great demand, I'm sure but the Girlguiding rules on climbing and abseiling are so strict, I'd never know when I'm actually allowed to be in charge of the wall. And besides, I haven't climbed in years and I get to a certain height and remember I don't particularly like heights. I am not a great climber. I draw the line at the boating qualification. I do feel a slight guilt that I've lived by the sea for twenty-five years and never learnt to sail but the sea is a powerful and scary thing and frankly, despite my love of baths, I'm not a water-baby at all. Camp, music and walking. Those three'll do for now. And by "now", I obviously mean "at some point in the hazy future beyond my Brownie module 1 and Commonwealth Award".

Anyway, I never meant to rabbit on about Brownies and Rangers for so long,

I went to the chemist yesterday, held out my hands and said "Help!". They suggested E45 Itch Relief Cream. Not the answer. It burned. Not enough to make it red or cause any damage, but enough for me to wave my hands around and go "Aarrgghh, please stop that!". It only lasted a few minutes but it didn't stop it itching despite repeated applications over the day.It's not that they itch because they're horrifically dry. They're actually relatively soft and well-moisturised but they're bumpy and itchy. They get a little dry around the knuckles because they itch and I'm scratching. So today I've got myself a tube of hydrocortisone cream. The first application was fairly promising. Well, it didn't burn, anyway. I'll give it a few days and then if it's still going I'm apparently off to the doctor to plead for medical help.

So that was my weekend. Putting songbooks together and rubbing various creams into my hands. I wanted to do some camp blanket badge-sewing tonight but I think I'm not going to bother. I got home late last night and went out early this morning. I'm tired. The bath calls. My hair feels icky.
phantym_56: (maxwell - black yeti)
No pictures yet. I am lazy.

As of last night, I am finally a qualified Ranger leader. It's only taken three and a half years. Slowest qualification ever! Now I have to start thinking a bit more seriously about my Brownie Module 1. I've always put it off, said that I'll do it when I'm done with the Ranger one. Now I am. I'm putting a songbook together for the Brownies at the moment. I have twenty-seven songs in there. If anyone has any suggestions, I will consider adding them (but you'll need to find some way of teaching me the tune). I'm in charge of a musical evening next week. Alice the Camel will go down well, I think.

There was foam in my Vilnius hotel bathroom. I love foam but I've never used it for six days in a row and it seems my skin doesn't like it. At least, that's what I assumed caused it. The backs of my hands and to a lesser extent, the insides of my wrists, have turned all red and bumpy and dry and scaly and they itch like hell. It's driving me crazy! I'm hoping they'll settle down again now I'm away from both the foam and the cold weather. I think I'm going to try baby oil for a few days. Moisture is your hands' friend.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - exhausted)
I am completely and utterly exhausted. I mean, properly. It's 6.33pm and I'm liable to fall asleep while typing this.

Thursday's taster session of extreme sports, Friday's snowboarding and two days at camp )
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - win)
I went to see my mentor tonight and came out a little depressed. I had all but one signature, three modules fully signed off - I'm literally millimetres away from finishing my qualification. But she said that although the night she came to see went very well and the girls were great and very happy and it's obviously all good, "there wasn't really much leadership for me to observe". Well, no. That's not how Senior Section works. They're supposed to lead themselves, my job is just to keep an eye on them and steer them in the right direction. So close! She came and watched the meeting, which was ok, I've had the DC in a fair few times and it's been disastrous at times. But this one was fine. And then I was sitting at her table while she told me what she made of it and I'm leaning forward, turning red and feeling like I'm getting exam results. And although the results were fine, she didn't see enough to sign the damn thing.

She was going to contact another local Ranger leader and see if the two units could meet up at some point. And she spoke to that leader and has since emailed me to say that the other leader says the qualification is very hard with Rangers and apparently what she saw is more than sufficient. I have to email two of my old girls to get them to send a statement saying we discussed their progress through their time in Rangers and that's it. (I've got that one signed but I need the evidence in my folder). So that's brilliant! Unfortunately, it's going to be another month until I see her again to get that last elusive signature but the fact is that I've practically got it now! I've done everything needed to complete my qualification!
phantym_56: (Girlguiding 100)
I came home from work in a good mood because I'm twenty-four hours away from getting the final signatures in my book to make me a fully-qualified Ranger leader and because I'd put all my evidence together in a little booklet to present to my mentor. And because the Brownie pantomime (more of a play as it lacked songs, dancing or a dame) went ok and the Brownies looked great in their costumes - we had a lovely little forties housewife, complete with eyeliner seams up the back of her legs. And because I talked to Mandy, and she didn't begin the conversation with "I've had a nightmare of a day!" and we talked and I do like seeing friends, in spite of my self-imposed state of hermitness.

But then I came home and the boiler doesn't work terribly well - if it's on, it's on and it seems it will get hotter and hotter until it explodes. Which means it has to be switched off at night which means I won't have a hot radiator to cuddle first thing in the morning. This idea makes me very angry and liable to lose my temper at all sorts of things. The back door being locked and still having the key in it, therefore rendering it impossible to open from the ouside. Dad whining that his camera doesn't work. The fact that no one seems in a hurry to get it fixed because "I'm at work all day and you can't phone someone at this time of night," which means it will go unfixed for months makes it worse. There is tuna in this house. Dad's computer is making a noise like it's about to either take off or blow up. This is not a good frame of mind in which to watch Outcasts, which I've been looking forward to ever since I saw the first trailers.

(Possibly the fact that I didn't go to bed until 2 last night because I was writing something ill-advised is also a factor in the moodiness)
phantym_56: (ed - lawnmower)
Sorry about the epic ramble on camping earlier. I got completely and utterly carried away.[Poll #1671493]
phantym_56: (big book project)
Rangers were a no-show again. Second time this term, despite being told two weeks ago that if they can't come please let me know!!!! I was running the shop so I spent a chunk of the hour writing and have somewhere to go with lots of words. Not necessarily somewhere interesting but nevertheless. I have two ex-spies to keep occupied on a train from Zagreb to Athens and then on a cruise ship over to Egypt. Amazing what comes out of going swimming at the weekend. It feels odd setting up my laptop in the dining room to do my homework, away from distractions like TV and bed. On my bed, I tend to get distracted by the internet and also, if I'm feeling tired, like I am now, I find it hard to resist the lure of cuddling down among the blankets and having a sleep.

am tired. I slept really well last night, well enough to have some quite vivid dreams but when I dream I always wake up feeling groggy and as if I haven't slept. Last night's dreams featured pigs, of the live, knitted and lunchbox kinds. Also cow-patterned tractors and a main road becoming a clifftop path passable only by foot and even then only be scrambling and I still fell off. So weird dreams. As a consequence of waking up exhausted, I've struggled at work today, spent the whole time feeling tired and headachey. As long as I don't dream tonight, I'll be fine tomorrow.

...yeah, I'm not doing my homework, am I? I'm procrastinating. Even now, I'm trying to drag this out. *slaps self* Get back to work, lazy urchin.
phantym_56: (bryan - jake)

As promised on whatever day it was (was it really only yesterday? Or was it as long ago as Thursday?), here is a non-whining post. Consider it a celebration of my personal New Year. These are pictures of trips I've done this year. Altitude, my family summer holiday, Guide camp, the Lake District and the Ealing Comedy Festival. I'm not really one for doing real-life picspams so here goes.


Snip snip. Lots of big pictures. Mostly very pretty scenery from around Europe. Places I've been this year )


phantym_56: (GGUK - Centenary100)
This weekend is Girlguiding's big Centenary Launch. The Centenary itself is 2010 but I understand somewhere around September 5th 2009 is the 100th anniversary of the rally where they first approached Baden-Powell and that's why all the launch events are happening this weekend.

I've painted my nails "ice" and "aqua", Senior Section colours for my favourite Section, since I'll probably have to be in adult uniform all weekend. I've got parties Saturday and Sunday because I lead two sections in two Divisions - well, I don't actually start Brownies until next week but I'm going to their launch party because I might as well start the Centenary year in a new section with the launch itself.

So Happy 100th Birthday to all Guides, all former Guides and anyone who can agree with the sentiment of Girls in the Lead.
phantym_56: (Default)
Girl Guides doesn’t really have a good reputation.
Well, no. Reputation isn’t the right word. It’s not the sort of thing people want to involved with; they think it’s old-fashioned and for teacher’s pet sort of people.
It’s got a new name – Girlguiding UK – and a new uniform but that doesn’t seem to have helped it much. The general image of Guides is much the same as it was right back in 1910 and all the efforts of the Powers That Be to modernise the organisation seem to make no difference to the general public.


phantym_56: (Default)

June 2012

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