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Parentcraft

As well as running the workshops Leila had her own private clinic to run. This she did after the workshops and invited us to join her. She carries out antenatal and postnatal examinations at her clinic as well as a variety of gynaecological related activities. We declined to get a little down time.

But we did get along to a parentcraft class and an aquanatal. Both of these were fascinating and Alison in particular was called on to contribute in both. No surprise there – this woman is a truly brilliant midwife with so many additional skills.

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A week of firsts … And surprises

Settling in nicely to this retirement lark! I even have a whole week of almost nothing in my diary next week before my trip to Prague ….. And am not feeling stressed out! But this week was quite different. Seemed to pack an awful lot into it and started new projects and new experiences.

The week started with a new experience. For what seems like months, I have been training with the Red Cross to be 1. A Community Based First Aid (CBFA ) educator 2. An events first Aider. Lots of workshops. The obvious first aid classes but also Moving and Handling, Protection of Vulnerable Adults, Children, CALMER which is basically psychological care of self and others, and induction into the Red Cross. On Monday I had my first CBFA teaching session. A full day with about 8 others at a secondary school in Glasgow. Fourth years. Early start – had to be there for 8.45. Didn’t help that phone sat nav took me to a dead end and told me to turn left! Luckily I could see the school from there so followed my own navigational instincts and found my way into the school. Reception were a bit unfriendly. And unhelpful. But once the actual teacher was found, all was very friendly. We were being split into five groups with up to 22 boys and girls in each. I was working with a very experienced educator, thank goodness, as I had no idea how these sessions were delivered. I mostly sat and watched and played patient. Ready to do the next one myself although I would introduce far more student led sessions. It was a bit chalk and talk! The kids were so funny though. Boys with total disinterest on their faces – but obviously listening because they were often the ones to answer the what do you do next questions. The girls more bothered about make up and short skirts than carrying out CPR properly. But again they proved to be interested and interesting once they got to know us. They all evaluated us well!

So home, once again getting lost. To an amazing thunderstorm! At 5pm it was sunny. At six the lightning crawled all around Troon and the thunder circled us. For almost three hours. It was very impressive. Not one to fear nature so enjoyed watching it and ventured out in my car at one point to feed my daughters cat. However the thunderstorm caused a bit of a disaster. As the final huge lightening strike lit up the sky our tv went bang, never to show life again. And even worse our internet went down! No tv, and no internet. Had to take up knitting!! still without a TV five days later but the internet sorted itself out. Thank goodness.

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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.

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A frustrating day

Most of the day spent in class with the second years. teaching decision making and cultural issues. Disappointed to learn that the students are regularly expected to put women’s feet on the hips in the second stage. and directed pushing is also the norm for low risk women. Had a fun session on culture talking about the differences between the scots….and the English!! As well as the ethnic minorities. Students have group work to do putting together a website with information on their ethnic group. Expecting some interesting results and had no shortage of volunteers to take change oh the IT required.
The afternoon was turned over to the Jehovah’s witnesses who come to make the case, and offer the solutions, to the issue of women not accepting blood. Few technical problems but got there in the end. When I arrived they were being asked lots of theological questions when they put their emphasis on the medical relevance of their beliefs.
Whilst they were in class I made an attempt to deal with all the admin that was building up. Never got far as I received an email telling me I needed to submit more documentation for approval of my tiny research project. So many pieces of paper to complete to be allowed to ask consenting adults questions in a focus group.