Sunday, February 27, 2022

Getting older and getting better

There was I lot I thought I knew about being old as I was growing up. I used to carefully observe my grandmother. I knew that you developed a lot of aches and pains and these appeared to vary in intensity in direct relationship to weather conditions but were continuous no matter what the intensity. I knew your hair slowly turned gray and thinned. I knew you often repeated yourself. I knew that you started to move slower and sleep less.

I even knew that bones became brittle and breaks took longer to heal. I also knew that you lost height, in part due to becoming more stooped but also due to bone loss—though when I was a child I didn't understand bone loss. I also didn't relate my grandmother's decrease in height to my own increase in height; not that I grew very tall, but, between the ages of 7 and 13, I did gain some on my grandmother.

I also didn't realize that it didn't only take bones longer to mend, it took simple things like cuts and bruises longer to heal—and easier to acquire as the skin becomes more fragile. I published this post dedicated to my grandmother, she was a wonderful example to me and an amazing woman.

When I turned my attention to older people, other than my grandmother, I noticed that many grew fatter and crankier, some even became odd and distant, though not my grandmother. She was very careful of her weight, she was always cheerful and rarely complained (I knew about the pains because she took medication for arthritis and stopped knitting and sewing). She was also as witty, curious and sharp as she ever was, right up until the day before she died—and then only because she went into a coma.

I am normally extremely healthy. I rarely get so much as a cold. I only have a few of the ailments that go along with aging. I don't have a problem with blood pressure, cholesterol, heart or lungs. I do have osteoporosis, (as did my mother and my grandmother) but these days that is easy enough to control. And so far I have not lost any height—a good thing as I don't have much to spare at a half of an inch above five foot. I also have an under active thyroid, but that is not exclusive to the elderly as so do many young people.

Since COVID I have not had a cold or a sinus infection despite the fact that I stopped getting my allergy shots. I am convinced this is due to wearing a mask, it blocks the pollen that causes allergies which in turn irritate the sinuses; it also reduces the chance of picking up colds. I will find it difficult to stop wearing a mask in public even when the pandemic is no longer a threat.
However, prior to COVID I used to get very stubborn sinus infections, eventually also getting ear infections on the side. I don't ever remember have an ear infection in my life before. In fact, though I grew up in a time where tonsils and adenoids were removed like teeth or warts (and yes, in those days teeth were pulled without consideration or knowledge of how to save them)—in spite of the times, I still have my tonsils and adenoids. Now, sometimes it takes two doses of antibiotics to clear up a bout of sinus.

Not so long ago I got a paper cut. Very normal occurrence, not so normal that a full week later it was still not fully healed. I decided to do some research and was surprised to find this article, which states:
"As one ages, the capacity of an aging nose to produce mucus is reduced as the mucus membranes lining the nose (nasal mucosa) become thinner. 
Poorer blood circulation to the nasal lining also results in less humidification of the air passing through the nose, resulting in nasal dryness. 
Furthermore, in the elderly, the clearance of the mucus from the nose is less efficient. The combination of a thick mucus which the body is unable to clear efficiently together with the lower immunity results in a higher risk of sinusitis in the elderly,"
This article was halfway between downright scary and somewhat insulting (to the elderly).
"We worry so much about the way we look on the outside BUT … what about the inside? Have you ever thought about the skin inside your body getting older, getting damaged and getting thinner?"
And what about this one!? Now we know why witches are portrayed with long, drooping noses.
"With aging, the physiology and function of the nose changes. The nose lengthens, and the nasal tip begins to droop due to weakening of the supporting cartilage. This in turn causes a restriction of nasal airflow, particularly at the nasal valve region (where the upper and lower lateral cartilages meet). Narrowing in this area results in the complaint of nasal obstruction, often referred to as geriatric rhinitis. "
This is the only article I could find that came close to explaining why a paper cut should take longer to heal, and it makes a lot of sense—it is mainly because it will be deeper. It also explains why bruises occur more easily, look so much worse and take longer to heal.
"Skin becomes thinner with age and loses some of the moisture and connective tissue support that makes it strong. This means that a cut can may often be deeper than would be the case in a younger person. More importantly though is that the body’s repair mechanism is not as efficient with advancing age"
Here is a post I wrote following my mother in law's injury and healing after a fall.

The problem is, we (the elderly) don't realize we are old, oh we know what age we are, and we understand that at a certain point, that is considered old; but inside we are the same person we were as a child, teenager, young adult.

Sometimes when I look in the mirror I think 'who the hell is that old woman'!? But at some point we need to accept the advancing years and be more aware of our fragile skin, mucus membranes and god alone knows what sagging is going on, on the inside! Probably just as well we do not know.

Thursday, February 24, 2022


This is something people who live in the US tend to do a lot, however, they mostly relocate between States, not countries. While there can be huge differences in everyday life between States, given how enormous the US is, varying climates and cuisine (I wrote about some of the differences in cuisine here) and a variety of imported influences, there are still less unexpected differences than experienced when moving between continents.

As I mentioned in my book, Peeling the Onion, I had not expected to encounter a language barrier when I moved to the US from Ireland, where English is the first language—but I was surprised (read my blog here about that).

Almost 28 years later I still get caught out by language occasionally, when I use an expression and see blank faces, I realize I have used an 'Irishism' and it has not been understood, so I then have to explain myself. I can't tell you how often I have seen that blank face and said "oh, you don't say that here, do you?"

But there are other things that are also unexpected and can be difficult, particularly if you are past your prime when you relocate, as I was—habits of a lifetime are hard to change, and that is always assuming that you are aware that they are considered 'wrong' in your new location, or just not understood, or worse, misunderstood.

Take for instance date formats (this from W3)

Weights: luckily there are many calculators online, (this is one), as in Ireland weight is expressed in ounces and pounds up to 14 pounds, which is 1 stone. In France, for instance, they are fully metric.

Measures: just about everything you care to measure is different
Distance and Speed Limits:
Pints: there is no way that I could have figured all this out without Google:
Here is another site I use (Check Your Math)

Clothing: I still have to google these conversions, particularly shoe sizes when I am buying shoes to send to my grandchildren in Europe—and even then, it depends of whether I am sending to France or Ireland—because they are not even the same. Here is another cool website for this information.



In order to work, I had to get my US driver's license, so I had to quickly learn the rules of the road differences—all way stops were the most scary. Turning right on a red light - that just felt wrong and still does. School zones and School buses, all rules that don't exist in Ireland and all needed to be mastered before I could take the driving test.

Even more significant is the fact that in Ireland we drive on the left, therefore the driver's seat (and associated controls) are on the right. In Ireland, particularly when I was learning to drive, but even today automatic transmission is extremely rare. Everyone who owns a car, drives a manual shift—and not everyone owns a car as public transport is extremely good (see this blog) and cheap, plus it is almost impossible to find free parking anywhere in major cities. When I first arrived in the US, I bought a car with manual transmission—sat on what I considered the wrong side of the car, and it took me weeks to stop clutching at the door handle in search of the gear shift, which of course is on the left of the driver in Ireland, but on the right in the US. At the same time I had to concentrate very hard to remain on the correct side of the road, multi lane junctions and U-turns were the most difficult as I got somewhat disorientated while negotiating these. I still have to think before I get into a car, in case I climb into the wrong side. What is kind of pathetic is that I also have to do that in Ireland now.

Once again, weights & measures come in—in Ireland gas (which is called petrol) is purchased by the liter (spelt litre), here it is gallons.  Consumption is kilometers per litre in Ireland, miles per gallon here. And if all that is not confusing enough, speed limits are posted in Ireland as Kilometers, here it is normally miles, however, in South Dakota there are signs displaying both.

Irish speed limit sign
Regular US sign

South Dakota Sign


Then you have the problem of spelling. I used to be quite good at spelling, but since I came to the US my spelling has gone to pot, both in UK and US English. I found this website to help me.


There are also differences in pronunciation of some words on either side of the Atlantic, as well as between States, particularly Southern States have a law of their own, quite separate from accents. I will give you a few examples:

Vitamin, Aluminium (I know, it is spelt differently also), Privacy, Schedule, Ate, Garage, Water, Mobile, Advertisement, Herb, Tomato—and there are many more.

And what is worse I still get jeered for what Americans consider my mispronunciation, not just teased, seriously—jeered. There was the occasion (and I may have written about this one before—because it still annoys me when I think about it) when helping out at a Haunted House set up I was asked to get some Duct Tape from the supplies. I waited in line while a geeky type dealt with each person's request. When my turn came, I asked for duct tape—my Irish accent apparently made it sound like I said 'duc' tape' and he pretended to not understand what I was saying and made me repeat myself multiple times, then said in an extremely condescending tone 'In America we call it duct tape' and gave me a roll of tape.

Finally, while I love my life here, there is still that feeling of having left a part of me behind—which of course I have done, and I don't just mean family, I mean a part of my life, my past—the familiarity of places where I grew up that trigger memories and emotions. There is no place in the US that was ever part of my childhood, or part of my teenage years. It is hard to explain, but I think this sculpture does it better than any words :

A beautiful sculpture by Bruno Catalano demonstrating that piece an immigrant leaves behind

And of course, the Irish have been emigrants for centuries, here is another sculpture that I particularly like—depicting the famine emigrants.

Customs House Dublin. Painfully thin sculptural figures, by artist Rowan Gillespie, stand as if walking towards the emigration ships on the Dublin Quayside.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Blogging - why do I do it?

I originally published this blog post in February of 2016, six years ago! I have been blogging since 2013. Not continuously. I wrote almost nothing from the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2021. I won't go into the significance of those four years except to say that I was so stressed that I couldn't write despite the fact that this particular post lauds the therapeutic effects of blogging. 

Definition of a blog—absolutely agree.
I love this definition from The Urban Dictionary

Just as I didn't write my book with the intention of publishing, in fact I didn't originally intend it to be a book, I wrote is as a form of therapy, I write my blog entirely for my own benefit. If you stumble across it and find some of it interesting, then great, but I really don't much care if you don't. It amuses me, but more than that, on those occasions with I get frustrated or irritated by situations and people (mostly people), instead of lashing out, or worse, stewing quietly and getting stressed, I write about it.

When I left Ireland I also left my wonderful therapist behind. I had been seeing him twice a week for well over a year and the positive influence that he, and the therapy, had on my life is almost impossible to describe (it is chronicled in my book). But I wasn't finished with therapy. The traumas from my childhood and my first marriage were almost all spread out before me, and mostly dealt with, just not completely. So I started writing it all down. I very quickly noticed the benefits and continued to do so. Eventually I gave into pressure from family and friends who had read it, and published the book—more to get them off my back than for any other reason (I wrote about that here). But once it was published, it was finished so I turned to blogging because now writing was a habit.

As with my book, I never expected to make money or become famous and that is just as well because neither have happened. My book continues to sell a few copies every month and usually I don't even think about it. Sometimes my blog gets an unusually high number of hits, but mostly it just chugs along with sufficient number of regular readers so as not to be embarrassing. Not that I really care, seriously!

Interesting data from Jeff Bullas' web site

Of course, some people do make a lot of money—The Huffington Post is a good example. And here is an interesting article on eZaroorat, '10 Interesting Facts About Blogging' that supports Jeff Bullas' information.

Here is an article that list the negatives of blogging. None of which particularly bother me. On the opposite side of the argument this article lists 20 of the biggest blogging benefits, but only list one of the reasons I blog, which is as a writing exercise, the others are:
  • To relieve frustration and irritation
  • To share information that I find interesting and maybe someone else will too 
  • It amuses me, 
  • To store information I, or my children, may need in the future, mainly my recipes which I have now moved to a separate blog here.
An added benefit is that I am constantly learning, because when I start writing I have to research the details, and while I am harvesting this information from the Internet, with no guarantee it is all correct, I find all sorts of articles which fascinate and enlighten me, not just on the subject currently under scrutiny, but many other subjects along the way, often giving me even more ideas to write about.

When I started blogging I knew that blogs are supposed to have a specific theme, but I have never been one to march to someone else's drum, I have my own which may be somewhat out of step with the rest of the world, but I like the beat. I started with a selection of miscellaneous essays I had already written, they were totally irrelevant to my book - you might argue that everything in my book was irrelevant, and you are entitled to your opinion - but these were less so and excluded from it for that reason. After that I meandered a bit, eventually I moved the recipes and restaurant reviews to AllAboutThePlate. I also published a selection of my recipes specifically for my children. As mentioned previously but I continue to write to suit myself.

Now an idea pops into my head and I start a blog entry with just a few URLs found googling the subject. That sits waiting until I have time or sufficient interest to expand on it—or, as is currently the case with one article, waiting for some final piece of information before I can finish it. However, I don't put pressure on myself to write unless I want to and I continue to get great satisfaction from my hobby and I still do not expect to ever make money from my blogs,

Finally, The Authority Hacker has a fascinating article on those bloggers who do make a lot of money blogging.

 Source: Authority Hacker

Friday, February 11, 2022

Remembering Mildred

Today February 11th, is the 86th anniversary of Mildred's birth and the first anniversary of her death. 

I have written about her a few times, on how she turned her back on us for no apparent reason, and later, when a wave of grief hit. 

Memories of her, and of course of Odell, frequently come to mind. I can't shake the compassion I feel for how lonely her last year must have been. I suppose that is understandable, considering she lived with us for eight years, the first two of which were Odell's last two years, spent at the memory care facility. I published a blog remembering him on his anniversary last October. Now, a full year after Mildred's passing, I decided to celebrate her life in pictures. 

Obviously, after knowing her for almost twenty years, and living with her for eight of those, I have a large number of photos of her. The following are just a few of the highlights and low lights of her life since I first met her.

I start with one from way before I met her, this very old photo of Odell and Mildred taken circa 1953. I love this photo. Clearly, I did not take this one, it was from a photo booth. I scanned many of Mildred's old photos and we had them framed for her. I guess her younger son kept them after she passed.

This one was also before I met them

Monday, February 7, 2022

My left hand

When I was telling you about my yoga I mentioned my worthless left hand. I thought it might be a good idea to expand on that in case my experience helps anyone else.

It started out with a constant pain during the day, then it began waking me at night, I tolerated that as long as I could. Finally I went to the doctor. He sent me to a surgeon, Dr Reichel, who explained that the trapezium, a small bone at the base of the thumb, had lost all cartilage and the bones were rubbing together. My options were lots of painkillers or an operation. The operation, ligament reconstruction and tendon interposition (LRTI) involves the following:

  • An incision is made in your forearm near the CMC joint.
  • A tendon called FCR (flexor carpi radialis) in the forearm is cut.
  • A hole is drilled in the metacarpal bone of your thumb.
  • The free end of the FCR tendon is passed through the hole and sewed back.
  • The remaining portion of the FCR is detached and preserved as a “spare” tendon.
  • All of the “trapezium” bone at the base of your thumb is removed.
  • The spare FCR tendon is placed into the space created by removed trapezium.
  • The spare tendon is maintained in the proper positioning with the help of wires or pins.
  • The remaining surface of the CMC joint is smoothed out.
  • The incision is closed with sutures.
before surgery
after surgery

Dr Reichel warned me that there was some risk of nerve damage, due to the large number of nerves in the hand, but confirmed that it would relieve the pain. I had no hesitation in going ahead with the surgery.

The surgery went well, the stitches came out and recovery was uneventful. I should add here that I really liked Dr Reichel, he was clearly very passionate about his work and went to great lengths to make sure I understood everything. He also told me that he had taken a photograph during the surgery if I was interested in seeing it. I was! I was fascinated to see it, so he turned his screen towards me. I am not going to post the photo here in case it grosses you out, but if you wish to see it, click here.

When I returned for a final check up, I mentioned to the surgeon that I had noticed some weird lumps on the palm of my hand. With his usual enthusiasm he checked and told me that I had developed Viking's disease, also known as Duputren's contracture. He explained that this was most common among people from Northern Europe, as the name would suggest. It is hereditary and often appears after surgery, not just hand surgery. 

At first this condition was just slightly irritating, but I got used to the lumps on my palm. I was going for physical therapy for my hand and it was obvious that my thumb was not responding well, many of the exercises I was being asked to do were just not possible. The PT, instead of paying attention to why I was unable to do as she asked, she became irritated as though I was just not trying. She eventually discharged me despite the fact that it was very obvious that the bottom joint in my thumb was not working as it should. If only I had used the same PT I later found for my shoulder.

Some months later, despite following the exercises given to me by the PT, my hand was not working as it should. I have to say, the pain was gone. I returned to my surgeon who recommended that I see a hand specialist, which is what I should have done instead of generic PT. Whitney Marshall in Cedar Park was incredible. She fitted me for a Silver Ring Splint. This device supports and encourages the thumb joint to do some of the work expected of it. My hand is still crippled but not painful and with the splint, working to a degree. 

The problem with my thumb now, was the Viking's disease was restricting the joint movement and unfortunately, was slowly working its way through my hand. It reminds me of Alien, as the stringy, lumpy threads spread through fingers and across my palm, restricting movement and slowly forcing my hand into a claw like shape. Obviously, I can't see it actually move—though that would be cool—but I can see where it is expanding into my fingers and across my palm.

It was when I started doing yoga that I noticed that I couldn't flatten my palm and not only was my little finger curling inwards, the ring finger was starting to also. That made me more aware of my hand and then one day, I noticed that I was holding my left hand in a fist—because that was how it was most comfortable. Now on top of my treadmill and yoga exercise, I will have to incorporate specific exercises to stretch out my hand or I will end up with it permanently in a fist.

If you happen to be a weirdo like me, you might be interested in this YouTube video of an actual surgery (not mine). I find it fascinating.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

In the driver's seat again

Finally the date was set for Larry's colonoscopy. I would be the designated driver. I explained in this post that, with the pandemic, retirement and downsizing, we sold my car. I have not driven for two years and Larry is not comfortable being a passenger. 

The procedure was set for Friday and pretty much that entire week was preparation time. We were in a holding pattern while Larry had to stick to a low fiber diet up to Thursday and then do the pre-colonoscopy stuff that day. Thursday was the ice storm day in Texas. We got a call from the surgery center to say that he should go ahead with his preparation but be prepared for a call on Friday morning to cancel if the icy weather continued into that day.

I have to admit, while I didn't want Larry to go through that week of prep for nothing, I was half hoping they would call and cancel. Of course, that would just be delaying the inevitable and the sooner it was over the better. The issue was not that I didn't want to drive, I enjoy driving. I just didn't want to drive Larry's truck—with him as a passenger. See my previous post to explain that. But of course, I had no choice. And of course I wanted to be there for Larry.

Friday morning, no call to cancel. We left the house at 9.45 for an 11 a.m. appointment. Temperatures were still well below freezing and forecast to stay that way for the rest of the day however, the sun was shining, so the ice was starting to melt a little. Larry drove and the roads were relatively clear but to be safe he engaged 4-wheel drive and took it carefully. Traffic was extremely light luckily, and we got there shortly after 10.30. 

Because of COVID I could not come inside to wait, so Larry went in alone. We had been told that I could expect him to be ready between 1.00 and 1.30 and they would phone me to let me know when to pick him up. Naturally, I couldn't go home, it was too far to drive there and back again and would have been foolish given the road conditions. 

I had wrapped up in warm layers and brought my kindle, my laptop and my phone. I had also brought my secret weapon, my Solis SkyRoam. This is a really invaluable device for anyone who travels a lot, as I used to. It is a pay-per-day portable internet connection and also doubles as a mobile charger. I have carried it all over Europe with me, and of course on my many trips to Seattle while I was working for Amazon. 

Despite the freezing temperatures, I only had to run the engine for a short time to keep the truck relatively warm. 

Finally, shortly after 1.00 p.m. the nurse called me to let me know that Larry would be discharged in about 15 minutes. We were parked across from the patient pickup area so I was able to see when he was wheeled out. I pulled across and as soon as he was buckled into the passenger seat I took a deep breath and headed home.

The roads had improved a little and traffic was still fairly light. It took about 15 minutes before Larry was sufficiently recovered from his anesthetic to continue my driver's education but despite this, I managed to get us home safely without incident. 

Not only did I pass the driving test in Ireland about 50 years ago, I also had to do one in the US when I got here 28 years ago, and I passed that too! I am not a bad driver, so why is it that every man in my life feels the need to continue my driving instruction? 

At least I now know that in an emergency I can drive the truck safely. I also hope I never have to drive it again. That was way too stressful a way to spend my Friday. 

The good news is that Larry had a clean bill of health and won't require another colonoscopy for a very long time.

Friday, February 4, 2022

My yoga progress

I haven't finished with the yoga theme.

In my previous post I mentioned that I was going to attempt to do the Thirty Day Move yoga journey, but I had beginners yoga and yoga for seniors as alternatives just in case the thirty day trip was too much for me. I also mentioned that I planned to repeat each day until I felt I had mastered it. In case you think that I am a wimp and to put this in perspective, I am seventy-five years old.

I do eighty minutes on the treadmill in the early morning Monday through Thursday, and again on Saturday. My plan was to go from the treadmill to the mat and complete the thirty minutes there before taking a shower. By early morning I mean I am usually on the treadmill by 5:00 a.m. 

I started including the yoga into my routine on Monday morning. It just seems right to start on a Monday. 

The knee pads I had ordered didn't really work, they were not cushioned enough and kept moving. I replaced them with folded towels as padding and this worked well enough. 

The first week I repeated Day One each day, for the four days. By Thursday I was satisfied that I had mastered it, with just a few adjustments. 

Friday is my lazy day. If you think I have forgotten about Sunday, no I haven't. I don't workout Sunday but it is when I catch up on household chores, so not as lazy as Friday.

On Saturday I decided to try the yoga for seniors and take on Day Two of Move the following week, on Monday. This proved to be a very satisfactory arrangement. Yoga for seniors was definitely not as challenging as Day One while still requiring some effort. 

On Monday I started Day Two. Again I repeated that session for my four workout days. I felt satisfied by Thursday, that I was ready to move onto Day Three the next Monday, keeping Saturday as a senior day.

Having completed two weeks I am astonished at how much better I feel already. If you had told me before I started that I would feel like this after just two weeks, I would not have believed you. 

After the first week I stopped using the towels completely (for my knees). While I do have to move carefully, my knees are not nearly as sore as there were at first. Even more surprising, my worthless hand is much happier for the stretching being imposed upon it. 

Each day I am finding it a little bit easier to get back to a standing position from being seated on the floor. That is something that is surprisingly difficult to do as you get older. I am now hopeful that continuing yoga will work more wonders. My muscles are letting me know that they are being worked. Arms, legs and core muscles all have that almost satisfying, ache. 

When I googled the benefits of yoga I found this:

  • Improves strength, balance and flexibility
  • Helps with back pain relief
  • Can ease arthritis symptoms
  • Benefits heart health
  • Relaxes you to help you sleep better
  • Can mean more energy and brighter moods
  • Helps you manage stress
  • Connects you with a supportive community
  • Promotes better self-care

If you think it is odd to google the benefits when I am already experiencing them, I agree, I guess I wanted to be sure that I was not imagining it. With all of the above benefits I am surprised that yoga is not prescribed for the elderly.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

What and why I write.

I write in part, to clear my head. I cover here, some of the other reasons. 

Sometimes it is as though there are too many thoughts whirling around inside my head and I can't think straight because of them. So, I write them down. I try to keep my posts from meandering around like the mish-match of thoughts and stick to a theme. I do this by starting a number of different posts at the same time, pulling the separate threads out of my head and into some order.

Some of my posts strike me as being a bit pontificating, so if that happens, please forgive me. I am not trying to preach to you, I am trying to clear my head and if anything, lecture myself. What often surprises me is the posts that I feel are the most likely to sound like I believe I am an expert, are the ones that get the most positive reaction. So, I continue. Actually, I would continue anyway because, as I said in another post, this blog is for me. Of course, I also enjoy writing.

Sometimes I start to write and after two paragraphs the thread comes to an abrupt stop. While I don't get a post out of it, at least I get the empty thought out of my head.

Some other posts are essays pulled from my book. As I mentioned here, I wrote a book by accident. I didn't intend it to be a book. It was a therapy for me. Now I revisit some of the chapters and I feel the need to revise and rewrite them. Partly because they are badly written and partly because there is still some healing to be gained from the exercise.

Then there are also a few posts generated by a sense of injustice. Of course I don't believe my writing about them will fix it, but I am compelled to do so anyway, perhaps to ease my own feeling of helplessness. 

An example is when Amazon treated me so badly, essentially condoning bullying and demonstrating that they did not value their staff, that I felt I had no choice but to retire. I agree that Amazon is customer centric and their customer service is great. The problem is that they do not care about their staff. I think Richard Branson has the right attitude.

“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” ― Richard Branson

I felt compelled to write that post to ease the pain and stress caused to me by the way I was treated, but also to expose the injustice. While I am well aware that my small rant will do absolutely nothing to prevent this happening again to someone else, as I have discovered it happened before to many others, I felt obliged to say it. And no, it didn't really make me feel better. That took months of searching for, and of course finding, silver linings to help me regain my equilibrium. And yes, writing.

I would be lying if I said I don't miss work. I really did enjoy what I was doing and of course, working with my wonderful team. I get bored from time to time, and I write to fill some of those empty hours. Apart from my embroidery and now my yoga adventure

I have to say, I am really beginning to feel the benefits of the yoga exercises I am attempting to master. And, true to my plan to live in the moment, I am celebrating the small improvements each time I hit the mat. But writing is still my first and main distraction.