Now that I am approaching retirement there will be increasing numbers of midwifery related posts as I stop using my uni blog.

Here is the first. Lovely wee video about childbirth. Cartoon based and not too graphic should you be wondering whether to click on this link!!

Testing testing

Just trying this out to see if I have managed to link my blog with my Facebook page

Preparing for retirement

So, I wasn’t going to start this particular theme until I handed in my notice but having had a very pleasant walk down to Morrisons in the sun, I am thinking that just maybe retirement ain’t such a bad concept!! Took the long route along the beach. Waves were gently breaking on the shoreline, a few couples were strolling along the promenade, a handful of children were on the beach and the sun beat down on us all. Stopped for a while to watch several families of Eider ducks picking through the seaweed for food.

Eider ducks on the sea

Eider ducks

Would normally have been on my way home from work and missed it all. But retirement opens up possibilities of enjoying the rare sunshine.

Retirement!! Not something I was expecting to consider quite yet. Although I am 61 I still have loads of passion both for midwifery and for teaching. So I had always expected to go parttime for a while. Never even considered that this would be a problem, but when I went through the process and put in the request, it was refused. Three times!! On the third occasion, after a month of soul searching, I informed them that in that case I would be retiring. I certainly have no wish to continue working at the breakneck speed expected of everyone nowadays. And I have other things to do. Like baby minding!!

So I have decided to retire at the end of November. When I am due to get my Old Age Pension. Old!! It needs renaming. I am not old. So I am building up a portfolio of paid and voluntary activities.

I am already serving as an adjudicating member of GTCS. Have an interview to become a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games next month. Have completed my Instructors sessions for the SMMDP programme. And have registered to become a First Aider with the Red Cross. These plus the work I already do for the ARM and the VIDM should I guess keep me busy. I also have a book to update!!

And I haven’t even mentioned grandchildren….

This then is my first blog of my journey towards and through retirement. I wonder if I will be any better at writing this ‘diary’ as the ones I started in my teenage years.

Visit to Edinburgh

Spent a lovely day yesterday visiting my son Andrew, his wife Emma and my granddaughter Becky. What a lovely family. And what a delight my granddaughter is. I cannot wait to have her to myself occasionally by minding her whilst mum and dad go to work. She is such a rounded wee girl for 7 months. Obviously content with life. Always smiling even when getting tired. Lots of laughs and giggles. Happy and keen to play with anything and keep herself amused. Sitting up confidently on her own, most of the time but desperate to walk. Strides out when held upright. A delight!!!

We spent a number of hours there and were looked after very well. Lovely lunch supplied by Andrew. Good conversation. Discussed the books by Julia Donaldson including Monkey Business which Grandpa Ian and Nana read out to everybody’s amusement. Including Becky!

Wish they lived closer….


Two weeks ago, we were honoured to host Razan from Palestine through Host UK. Razan is a student here in the UK and came to stay with us to be introduced to the Scottish culture. She got a bit of the English culture also, needless to say. She enjoyed our food, but enticed us with descriptions of her own types of food. So today I am trying Makloubeh. This is a layered one pot rice dish with chicken and vegetables. Having read over a number of very different recipes, I am adapting one to our taste. Cauliflower features in most versions. Ian does NOT like cauliflower. Note the emphasis. So other dishes use aubergine. None to be had in the shops this morning. So we are having chicken layered with carrots, potatoes, onions and broccoli for colour. How to cook these, what spices to use, also differs from recipe to recipe so….

Caramelise onions with chopped garlic and keep warm in oven. Roast slices of veg in oven. Brown chicken strips and add level tsp allspice, quarter tsp cinnamon, three cardamom pods with water and simmer til cooked. Now line saucepan with chicken, sprinkle with onions, then veg, then uncooked basmati rice. Cover all with water in which chicken has cooked, adding a little more water if required to half inch above rice. Simmer gently til rice cooked. Rest for a while. Then turn out so rice at base onto plate. Serve with plain yoghurt and a side salad.

We will see how this works!