You only live once…

Unless you are James Bond of course but for the rest of us mere mortals, that’s it. It’s a one time only offer. Make of it what you will.

It is British Summer Time… Hoorah! I know it doesn’t feel like it but it is.

The clocks went forward an hour last night and my whole body feels more tired than I ever thought possible.

I had a terrible nights sleep. By terrible, I mean two hours at best. In fact I haven’t slept well all week, for lots of reasons. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

This morning we were up early for football. They lost but bravely, it was a good battle and they fought till the end. Tom managed to not get so emotional this time but the same can’t be said for me. I am a wreck. I can’t bear the pressure of Tom being goal keeper, it seems like such a massive responsibility to put on such young shoulders. My heart lurches every time the other team get possession of the ball. I can’t bear the anticipation and when they score, well it’s all I can do not to have a tantrum myself.

I just can’t bear to see him look so defeated. He is getting better at keeping it together and over the course of the match he made some great saves. Missed a few saved a few, that’s how it is but he takes it so personally. The score rests on his shoulders. It doesn’t of course but that is how he sees it.

This week has been stupidly busy at work with an exceptional number of complaints, which is always nice, not. The workload is increasing by the day it seems, we have lost two members of staff to new career’s and as yet have not found replacements, despite interviewing a fair few candidates.

I love interviewing but I am not necessarily very good at it. I tend to favour the underdog. If you seem nervous, or particularly awkward and or have a tic or I don’t know just something that generally doesn’t come across well in interviews, I want to give you the job.

The trouble is you must have skin like Rhino to work in the NHS. You need to obviously care and have a certain amount of empathy and understanding but the most important thing you need is a layer of impenetrable membrane that will not allow the constant jabs about the NHS in general and its staff, get to you.

The daily groan about the waiting times, the rude dragon receptionist, that woman I spoke to on the phone who obviously doesn’t have a clue and the hundred or so people a day who complain about the length of time it took to get through or the wait to get a blood test and so on and so on.

I know. I feel your pain, I am also the patient of a GP surgery, a different one but I can tell you the issues are the same. I struggle to get through on the telephone at busy times of the day. I also can not get an appointment for 2-3 weeks unless I want to go and wait in the reception for half the morning.

This unfortunately is a service under pressure, increasing pressure in all avenues but please believe me when I say it is not because we don’t want to give you an appointment that you can’t have one on your desired day at your desired time, it is simply because there isn’t one.

Receptionists and admin staff are being asked to do more and more and because of this we are seen as an obstacle, a barrier between you and your Doctor. We are simply being asked to signpost people away from the GP’s. Sign posting is a way of seeing if someone else can help them with the issue, not everyone likes the idea, staff included as people are often very offended if you ask them why they would like to see the Doctor.

They might not want to tell us and in truth they don’t have to but this is the way forward now for most GP surgery’s in an effort to try to reduce the waiting times for appointments. Will it work? Only time will tell I suppose and even then only if everyone get’s on board.

Tuesday I had a date. In fact I have had two dates this week. Both were very enjoyable.

I don’t want to count my chickens but I think I may have a second date on the cards.

I have already counted my chickens haven’t I? Just by writing it down and announcing to you all that I may have a second date means that by tomorrow evening you can bet your arse I won’t have.

Tuesday I met one of those city types for a brunch date.

Now I am not usually one for stereotyping people and to be fair he was nice (not sure nice is the right word), if typically city. He was handsome for sure, not as tall as I thought he would be and we met at Gatwick of all places. He had flown in from the States (not especially to see me I might add, that would just be weird) and I trundled up on the train from my home on what was a very bloody cold day.

Before we met he insisted on ensuring that I would be wearing suitable clothing. When I say suitable clothing I mean something that he would like. What he liked was a dress, with stockings and heels.

I have two dresses in my wardrobe. I am not made for dresses.

One is an Emerald Green, lace shift dress that I pull out for weddings, christenings and well anything really, the other is a black woolen mix dress that I bought for my Dad’s funeral, this has been worn to every funeral since.

Heels I can manage but dresses. No.

However, manage I did. Why? Well simply because I was incredibly excited about the whole thing.

I won’t say I wasn’t nervous. I was, extremely nervous and all the while I was on the train I kept trying to talk myself into remaining on the train and not getting off at the next station, crossing the platform and returning safely to my comfort zone.

I found the whole thing more than a little bizarre but Oh My God if I was looking for a thrill, I just found one.

He was more than a little controlling and although he made it perfectly clear that I could leave at any time. I wasn’t under any illusions as to how he expected things to pan out.

Did I think about leaving? Yes, about a hundred times. I didn’t.

I checked in with the buddies, took a deep breath,pulled up my big girl panties (metaphorically speaking) and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. It was surreal at times and I wondered if I might have lost my mind and I certainly won’t lie by saying that at some points I wasn’t brought sharply back to reality.

In hindsight so much could have gone wrong.

If there is one thing I lack it is fear. Yes I get anxious, nervous like most people on occasion but I never think that anything bad will happen. Is that a good thing? In a way I suppose it is. I never stop myself from trying anything for fear of it going wrong. I am an optimist, I always think things will turn out fine. I do not worry about anything sometimes even I find this odd.

It is only after an event I might think how it could have turned out so differently, by then it would have been too bloody late if it had.

Neither am I am one for regret. I make my choices, I live with them.

My only regret about the whole thing was being unprepared. I caught sight of myself in the toilets at the station, while I waited an hour for my twice delayed train, in the bitter cold and I looked like I had been hauled through several hedges. Thorny ones.

I had no make-up, no hair brush, nothing. The guy I purchased my latte from earlier that day, while I was still looking fabulous, gave me a biscuit when I returned to get another one, in a vain attempt to send something warm through my body. “You look like you need something sweet?” he said. I smiled and tottered off looking for a hole to fall in to.

The funny thing about shame or guilt is that usually you feel it unnecessarily. I wasn’t ashamed nor did I feel guilty but for one split second, I wondered what he must think I had done. The only reason this feels wrong is because he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know that this is not the sort of thing I do everyday and even if I did do it every day should it matter to him or to anyone else.

We are good at making ourselves feel bad for the things that society perceives to be immoral or wrong in some way. Who decides? I don’t feel bad but I feel like I should feel bad. Why?

Midweek I had three arguments, well actually it was more than three as Elsie has been in stroppy teen mode this week, so just with her I am probably into double figures. The attitude has arrived and its a corker. Her face is a face of contempt about almost everything at the moment and it is ripe for slapping.

Wednesday I had one of those moments, much like a come down I suppose. I was leaning against the desk at work in the buddies office and I casually said, “Ohhh, I just need something exciting to happen”, at which point we all just burst in to hysterics.

We decided to go out for a drink after work Friday. It was well deserved. We finished at 4 pm and hit the pub for a couple of lovely, laughter filled hours. It was just the tonic.

While I was there I had a message from Hunter.

We have been talking for a few days. Hunter is considerably younger than me and so I was keeping him on the back foot for now and also trying to hold him off until after my meeting Tuesday. The previous night though we were messaging for hours, he was keen to meet and I agreed but we had yet to come up with a date.

The message he sent gave me his address and told me to be there by 7 pm.

My stomach did a little flip-flop. I do like all this bossy stuff.

Who’d have thought it? Not me that’s for sure. I do not like being told what to do. Or so I thought?

Unfortunately my responsibilities took precedent on this occasion and I had to politely decline his offer.

He was very gracious and told me that he understood why I could not meet him this evening and he would look forward to seeing me tomorrow instead.

So I did meet him tomorrow…

It’s a cliché but if you found out you were dying, would you do it? Would you love more? Would you be nicer, braver? Try anything once? You would and we are, dying that is, eventually.

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