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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Eleanor Blair's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, October 20th, 2016
10:38 pm

Sertraline dose at 50mg a day confirmed by rather nice Dr O'Leary, who wants me to come back in a fortnight to check I'm OK, and has given me a leaflet on the local (self referral) therapy options. I mentioned that I'd heard depression and low thyroid function are sometimes linked, and he said that since I *am* responding to the Sertraline that's not very likely to be the cause of it in my case, but that he may as well test. He said he'd also check calcium levels, so I mentioned the parathyroid issues from a few years back and he's also going to check parathyroid levels. So back in a week for blood tests with the nurse too. Since it's half term I'll take Matthew, will do him good to see non-scary needles not hurting mummy.

Matthew's pre-school photo proofs were finally available yesterday, and on review one of them was nice enough to get prints done. Though I've gone the route of ordering a digital image from the photographers with a licence for personal use (though they retain the copyright), and ordering some prints from Photobox. I should get round to getting some other prints done too as it's a while since we did any.

And the IT Review at work is officially published today! The day after we met the person who will be in charge of managing the changes needed to implement it, without anyone saying a word about the fact that's what was going to happen. Proposing a reorganisation which should be neutral as to staff numbers, but it all has to go through the University's organisational change management processes and more due consultation and so on and so forth. So we're still very wait-and-see and still fairly cynical, but it's not as bad as it could have been. It's online here: http://www.hr.eng.cam.ac.uk/2016-it-review (not sure if that link is valid outside the University).

And I've just spend a pleasant evening pootling about with Mike in our little Minecraft work playing with making my redstone powered secret doors work better. Now at least you can always get *out* of the secret room :)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016
10:29 am
Dear Eleanor
Stagecoach replied:

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I'm not sure how I was supposed to know about their app (it's not obviously advertised anywhere), and they don't say whether it's any better at distinguishing not-running buses from no-live-data buses.
Monday, October 17th, 2016
4:02 pm
Dear Stagecoach
Subject: Missing number 10 bus on Saturday

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We did actually have a lovely day out, but it was *rather* more expensive that we'd anticipated. And the thai curry we ordered for takeaway when we got home was reasonably tasty, but a little late, a lot cold and very overpriced too.
Thursday, October 13th, 2016
10:13 am
Out of Sertraline error, redo from start

Stopped Sertraline 22nd Sept, mood crash 6th October, and continued bad over weekend, so on Monday I booked an appointment online for Thursday morning. Or I thought I did, got to the GP today to find I must have failed to click the button, not on system. But they're doing me a prescription for the meds and have rebooked me for a week's time - and the medical centre pharmacist rang me up to double check too. Of course after I left it occurred to me it didn't actually have to be with that *particular* doctor (the GP who I've been seeing about my depression retired over the summer, so I don't have a new regular one yet), but a week is probably OK to give the meds time to start to have an effect maybe? I can always ring up if I need one sooner.

Otherwise Matthew has *completely* settled into pre-school and never cries when I leave him any more, and I still find this astonishing every time I leave :) We've been having fun threading conkers on strings, and doing lots of painting and playdough. Work is quiet, *still* waiting to hear the results of the IT review, which the Academic Committee finally saw last week. I'm listening to more music which is good, playing pokemon which gets me out of the house for a nice walk round the village in the evening, looking forward to seeing a couple of NCT group friends tomorrow and one of Matthew's pre-school friends is having a halloween party soon which should be fun too.

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
11:53 am
All gone!

Took my last Sertraline last night. I slowed the tapering down a bit over the summer, but I've been on 50mg every other day since we got back from holiday and I'm doing OK - hopefully will continue to do so! I'll be watching out for wobbliness the next few weeks.

Matthew is settling into pre-school and work have confirmed they don't actually need to do the full flexible working request thing in order to change my hours. It's a bit of a mad dash, and I won't get my Thursday mornings off to myself which I was kinda looking forward to, but I think it will work. Two days in a row now we've had Matthew let me leave without clinging and tears, so I've been very impressed. We had a lovely time at the park afterwards yesterday, though we're doing a lot of quiet telly watching in the afternoons as he's pretty tired.

And we just had a lovely weekend in the Forest of Dean - Matthew loved playing with granny and grandad (favourite games involved rather a lot of running round the living room). On Saturday we visited Dewstowe Gardens which has some amazing grottos/tunnels, and the Caldicot Castle which was full of medieval re-enactors. We watched some dancing and Matthew was thrilled to have a go at archery (with help from mummy too). We didn't manage to hit the target but we did get a couple of arrows to go impressively far. The bow was bigger than he was! And on Sunday we had a lovely explore of Puzzlewood, before Mike and I sneaked off for a wedding anniversary lunch at the pub and Matthew took granny and grandad to the park and out for an icecream. Sounds like they had a lovely time :)

I'm sure there was something else I was going to talk about but I've completely forgotten it :)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
2:12 pm
A week passes :)

So, in Matthew's first week of pre-school he cried *after* I left on Tuesday, not at all on Wednesday (and greeted me with "I didn't cry this day" when I picked him up), and when I tried to leave on Thursday, but in each case he got over it more quickly and really enjoyed himself - going for a lie down on the sofa apparently helped. Today he cried again when I tried to leave, but I preempted it a little by suggesting he go straight for a lie down, and he let me go without more protest :)

Friday we had a nice mummy day with Kreepie Krawlies and lunch at the deli, and on Saturday we visited the village fair (Fun Weekend) at Little Shelford and Matthew spent some of his pennies on the stalls and wasn't interested at all in the falconry display but did want to know when the new playground equipment they're raising money for was going to arrive (is it here now?). It was a bit soggy but the rain had let off a bit by then so we had quite a nice time. Sunday was glorious though and we spent most of it up at Wandlebury and the Gog cafe, and picked lots of blackberries on the Roman Road.

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
10:15 pm
First day of playgroup

Matthew went to Rainbow! We went there on foot/balance bike, and arrived 10 minutes or so early so hung around outside and said hello to a few familiar people. Once we went in we found where to hang his bag and coat, where to put his snack and lunch, and who to sign in with, and I stayed and played until 9:30 before gently extracting myself to say bye bye with a kiss.

I pottered off for a restorative cuppa at the Deli, then hit the new charity shop (in the former bike shop) and bought a greetings card, a battered 7in single, a Roald Dahl book, a Thomas floor jigsaw and a practically brand new pair of lace up DM shoes - for a sum total of £12. Then I went home and pottered about sorting out photos from my phone (very overdue), and had some lunch.

Around 12 I got a notification on my phone of a voicemail - our signal is very erratic! It was Rainbow calling to say he'd been quite upset (and cross) for a while, but that he'd now gone to sleep, and they'd see how he was when he woke. I rang them back and he'd woken up again and was just about to settle down for his lunch. He had a much happier afternoon and when I walked over to pick him up he ran over with a big grin when he saw me, but was happy to try and play more and show me what he'd been doing and said he was going to come and play again tomorrow. We shall see how he is in the morning! He said the best bit was the toy digger in the garden.

We picked up an icecream on the way home for a snack, and enjoyed some telly and his new jigsaw and some dancing to my new record (which skips a bit), and had pizza and garlic bread for tea, before mummy and daddy watched some ancient Doctor Who (there's no cycling on today until too late) and then played some Minecraft. Matthew had got us back into it rather :)

Monday, September 5th, 2016
3:12 pm
More childcare

So in my last post I said I thought I'd *finally* found someone for the short term to look after Matthew after pre-school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from next week. (I've got the rest of this week off for settling in purposes). And she was coming to meet us on Friday. Guess who didn't show up on Friday and hasn't replied to my email since? She always did seem a bit reluctant (and expensive). I guess she really *didn't* want it.

Instead I've had a chat to the pre-school and to work, and I've put in a flexible working application to change my hours temporarily from 7.5 each on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday to 7.5 Monday and 5 each on Tues/Weds/Thurs, and hopefully work will agree since it's the same number of hours just re-arranged a bit. He'll be doing three full days of pre-school instead of 2.5 and I'll drop him off and pick him up, so at least he doesn't have any more people to get used to!

Now work just have to *agree* to it, but my colleagues are OK with me just getting on and working that pattern in the meantime, given I'm employed as an Officer and it's generally the policy that we work the necessary hours to get the job done and I can actually do some aspects of my job better for being in on more days anyway. Hopefully HR will be fine, and it'll just be a case of hammering out details.

Cautiously looking forward to his first day tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
4:45 pm
Other things

Amy's graduation/birthday party was lovely - friends, cocktails, cake, dancing to cheesy 80s nonsense with like minded people, dressing up and getting to be a goth for the evening :) I took lots and lots of photos of the dance floor which are mostly awful, though one or two look like they have really cool filters applied. I failed to get any decent photos of my with my Siouxsie wig on which don't contain other people's small children, but did take a selfie with my own purple hair and one which Matthew photo-bombed. Nailed it?

Original: http://www.mojo4music.com/media/2014/09/Siouxsie-Sioux-MOJO-cover-shot-770.jpg
Original: http://boxxmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Siouxsie+and+the+Banshees.jpeg

Right now I have a box of dates brought back from Algeria by Hania. She had to cut them from the branches for me to fit the box, and they're still on little twigs. They are *amazing*.

2:48 pm
And relax?

It's been a funny old summer. Since I last posted we've spent 5 weeks without a childminder - one of those was on a fabulous family holiday to celebrate mum's birthday, but the others we've muddled through with Mike taking some days off and me taking others - ending up with me working just one day last week! During that time I've been increasingly desperately looking for childcare for when Matthew starts pre-school next week. This week he is back at Hania's for today and tomorrow and I think I may have *finally* found someone, though she's expensive and definitely only wants to do this for the short term as that many fixed hours makes an awkward dent in her availability for full-time jobs. We meet her on Friday anyway :)

Anyway, despite that stress, we did indeed have a brilliant week away at the start of August - we were staying in an amazing hobbity house in Somerset, within view of Glastonbury Tor. We had some lovely days out at the beach and Wookey Hole and we visited Em in her lovely house and had afternoon tea in the garden. We had a fab lunch out on Mum's birthday and a BBQ in the garden in the evening - there were lots of presents and cards and singing of happy birthday and both light up LED balloons and giant ones spelling 60 and it was a really lovely day. Mike and I took some long walks after Matthew was in bed and saw owls and deer and BADGERS in the lanes around the house. And we all enjoyed the hot tub in the garden and the swimming pool for guest use just up the lane.

The exciting news since then though is that I'm once again an auntie, with a brand new baby niece. Her name is Lillian Grace (after great-grannies on both James and Em's side) and she's beautiful, and I hope to get a chance to gurgle at her over Skype before very long. I suspect we shall be visiting Somerset again before too many months have gone!

Other than that the summer has contained lots of parks - especially Coleridge Rec with its splash pad and "wolf slide" and the ever popular ice cream van. Mike and Matthew had a trip to the zoo, but I don't think Matthew and I have managed anything more exotic than an afternoon at Funky Funhouse and a visit to the children's fair on Parker's Piece. There's been lots of sunshine and we even put up the tent as a den in the garden and had a barbecue on the firepit this weekend for the first time in a vary long time!

I'm taking Tuesday and Wednesday off next week to help settle Matthew in to Rainbow. He'll be going 9-3 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (when we're both at work) and 9-12 on Thursdays - so I'm going to have to find a way to amuse myself those mornings. I'm thinking of some refresher driving lessons so we can consider occasionally hiring a car. If we get all organised with childcare we're hoping to have a weekend over in Lydney to visit Evan and Gina before the end of September - and then possibly up to Mirfield at the beginning of October for a bike ride if we're lucky.

I'm *so* looking forward to once we're actually settled into a new routine with this term, and then I can relax? Yeah, right :)

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
2:22 pm

It is *amazing* how much more relaxed I feel now our mail server is working again!

Boring technical detail: Read more...Collapse )

I still have a few bits of housekeeping to sort out. And this all needs to be properly documented and in some cases packaged, and added to kickstarter post-install scripts. But it's good to be back. And boy have I learned a lot in 3.5 days!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
12:34 pm
Race for Life

So I signed up to race a 5K in aid of Cancer Research, and a team of us at work are also raising money for Bloodwise, who work with blood cancers in particular. Donation infoCollapse )

We're running to support our colleague Rachel F who is still being treated for Leukaemia (though she hopes to be back at work soon) but also in my case for Rachel C aka rmc28 (who is thankfully in recovery!), and for all my family and friends who have ever been affected by any sort of cancer. I don't much like the PINK of Race for Life, or the combative tone of "fighting" cancer, but I thoroughly support the idea of research towards better treatments and support for those who are suffering.

I've not really done any sort of running before, but I've managed 5K while out doing a bit of practising, so hopefully I can do it on the day :)

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
9:35 pm
A week in Wales
Friday: travel to Betws-y-Coed and settle into our cottage.
Saturday: walk up the river Llugwy past Swallow Falls, bus back, visit to playground after tea.
Sunday: day out in Conwy. Beach and pirates and castle. Missed last bus so taxi home.
Monday: train up Snowdon into the clouds and walk back down the Miners path. Fish and chips for tea.
Tuesday: walk up to Llyn Elsi above the village and visit to the miniature railway at the station.
Wednesday: day out in Llandudno - soft play, pier amusements, sandcastles on the beach, icecream.
Thursday: soggy boggy hike over the hill from Pont-y-Pant back to the Llugwy at Ty Hwll. Out for pizza in the evening.

And tomorrow we will go home. We've had a lovely time and done far more hiking than I thought - and surprisingly dry during it considering how much it has rained! Lots of visits to the rocks by the river, and lots of ice creams too. We'll miss the hills most of all though.
Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
5:06 pm
On the EU referendum
An old friend of mine called Dom spent his lunchbreak today writing a cartoon about the EU referendum, which I thought summed it up quite well, regardless of which side you're on. I asked if it was OK to post a transcription, and he agreed.


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Monday, May 23rd, 2016
2:22 pm
Of strikes and salaries

So UCU members in Higher Education are due to be on strike for 2 days this week, and then working to contract thereafter, over a headline 1.1% pay offer. There are other factors too, where UCEA haven't responded adequately to union concerns on the gender pay gap and on casualised working, but the pay increase is the main issue. To be up front I voted in favour of strike action, and I do sometimes wonder if I'm just being selfish in wanting more pay, but here's some thoughts and factors.

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Saturday, May 7th, 2016
9:45 pm
Huge thanks to my sister Emily for buying me and Mike a chocolate tasting course from Chocolat Chocolat for Christmas. We've had a fab afternoon of chocolate and chocolate and more chocolate. Not entirely surprised to discover that Mike is a supertaster and I am not - explains why he finds more things unpalatable than I do :) 12 different sorts of chocolate buttons, 3 types of flavoured chocolate squares made by Dolfin to try and guess the flavour, three sorts of their own chocolate just to enjoy (choc orange, sea salted caramel praline, and White choc with strawberries), various taste testing tasks and a quiz - lots of fun. We didn't win the quiz but bit scored a respectable 7/10. And got goody bags of leftover chocolate to bring home.

And on top of that we get a 10% discount in store for the next few months too.

Matthew spent the afternoon at Hania's but we had a nice morning trip to Lammas Land (paddling pool not yet filled sadly), and lunch at the Orchard Tea rooms in Grantchester. And afterwards he rode his bike all the way home.
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
9:43 pm
What a day
Made brownies
Painted pictures
Made furniture with Matthew
Ate brownie
Went to the park and made sandcastles
Had lunch in the garden
Cut the grass and edged the lawn
Watched Matthew 'watering' aka drenching himself with hose
Finished making furniture
Tidied Matthew's room a bit into new furniture
Returned to find Matthew was doing more painting on his own...
... Using a pull-back car as a brush
Cleaned Matthew
Cleaned the wall
Cleaned the table
Washed the curtains
Cleaned the carpet
Played with playdough
Noticed Matthew was looking a little red about one ear and nipped to the chemists for sunburn advice for toddlers
Bought aloe vera and capri sun
Played with more playdough until Matthews tea was ready
Sorted out grocery order for tomorrow while Mike too Matthew up to bed
Ate curry
Filed paperwork
Spot cleaned bits of carpet
Checked and my phone is fixed and preparing to be returned to me
Put my feet up for a bit

I admire his creativity and independence but that's the last time I put the paints away in the box but leave the box on the table!
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
9:34 pm
Ridiculous child
So if he still has mornings where he wails like it's the end of the world when I leave him at his childminder of over two years I dread to think what pre-school will be like in September! He was absolutely fine of course - though tired. He hasn't quite got the knack of sleeping more at night to counter the no nap days with us.
Sunday, May 1st, 2016
10:49 pm
Lovely day
We're having a really good bank holiday. Today's excursion was just a bike ride to the Botanic Gardens but Matthew was delighted - he loves the stepping stones and exploring the rock garden and after lunch we spent ages playing monsters running round the maze. With a small French girl joining in. We then headed over to Lammas Land for an hour or more at the rec and a bright blue ice lolly went down very well. I gave myself one hell of a clonk on the shin on one of the climbing frames though! Home through Grantchester Meadows for more cycling on his balance bike in the afternoon sunshine (and learning not to try turning round in the middle of a cattle grid). Plus home made pie for tea and the last of the Tour de Yorkshire to watch once Matthew went to bed.

And Mike has pointed out his phone is dual sim so I've stuck my sim in it too for emergency contact purposes. Though a little alarmed that Hania has replied to neither email or text letting her know my phone is dead!
Saturday, April 30th, 2016
10:08 pm
In better news...
We had a fab day out today. Got the train to Stansted Mountfichet, had a nice lunch in Yeomans Tearooms, visited the castle (and got mobbed for food by a cockerel who could jump 3 feet high and a pair of goats that finished off both the food and the paper bag). Headed up the hill to find a nice rec and then look at the windmill - and found the steward outside doing some tidying up before their open day tomorrow (normally last Sunday of the month plus bank holiday Sunday and Mondays) - and he very kindly invited us in when we said we weren't local. Dashed back down the hill to reach the station with 5 minutes to spare for our train and then got back to Shelford with just long enough for cake at the deli before they closed. Rounding off the afternoon at Gt Shelford rec.

Since Matthew's birthday we've had a lot of quiet pottering about and a couple of tummy bugs and a grotty cold. Hoping for some better health soon. Next weekend we have our (rescheduled) chocs tasting course, and a visit from Pete, Val and Alice for a very Christmas. We're having Evan and Gina to visit in a couple of weeks too then off to see my mum and dad (and enjoy the spa) at the late May bank hol. Then we've got a week in Wales in June and a week in Somerset in August and hopefully soon we'll have confirmation of days for when Matthew starts pre-school playgroup in September and we just need to sort out the wrap-around care! Phew :)
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