Unexpected Feels: Safety, Failure, and Loss

Let’s start with the good news.

First, I have completely unpacked all my belongings and found homes for everything. The dining room is no longer a mountain of boxes and it has a dining table which is doubling up as my desk at the moment. I also found curtains for the living room. Second, with the help of Mum, I’ve finished digging up the weeds in the garden and sown my flower seeds. She also identified all the mystery shrubs. There’s a Weigela, a Ceanothus and a Hydrangea. There’s also a Himalayan Honeysuckle which is in bud. Very exciting!

In the interesting news category, this coming week is my last at the RCN. I am sad to be leaving but also grateful as I had reached the limits of the interesting bits of the job and have spent the last two weeks bored out of my skull with not quite enough to do. I am however going to miss my paycheck, especially as I don’t have anything lined up for when I get back from sailing.

Speaking of which, I’m going sailing on the Stavros in a week’s time! Much Excite! Southampton to Cardiff with a sea shanty group! Hopefully the weather will have the correct amount of wind, in the right direction. The bad news is that we are currently lacking enough Watch Leaders and Deckhands. I hope to Neptune they fill the volunteer crew positions in time else I am going to be VERY busy.

Pink weigela flowers

Flowering Weigela – very pretty!

In between all the things I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been having some interesting emotional outbursts. I’ll just start feeling sad for what seems like no reason and then tears follow. Continue reading


Pumpkin, my munchkin

I was planning to do a happy post on my work trip to Barcelona to meet the mathematicians I’m collaborating with, but when I got back home last night my hamster, Pumpkin, was really ill. Really, really ill. She had nasty looking lumpy scabby things on her face and then I noticed them elsewhere. Her fur had lost it’s shine and when I picked her up I could feel every single bone in her body. She had lost so much weight, and she was burning up. I then found an even worse one on her belly, and given everything else, guessed at cancer.


Pumpkin and her wheel

I let her out of her cage and she had a run around in her ball and I played with her a bit and took photos. I also did what any person would do and looked for things on the internet and got hold of the out of hours vet. They were too far away for me to get to at that time of night so I decided I’d take her in in the morning, if she lasted that long. Hamsters are so small that when they take a turn for the worse, they go downhill rapidly.

Pumpkin was still alive in the morning but she barely came out for food and took a lot of convincing, even for cucumber. Being about two years old, I’d been expecting something sooner or later, but dammit, not now, please not now. Continue reading