Monthly Musings for June 2015

Horribly late since I seem to be playing catch up with everything but my study schedule at the moment! However, they are now here, so yay!
Counting the Blessings …
There have been many. Mum and I had a truly wonderful girly holiday in Wells, the weather was excellent, as was the hotel (The Crown, of Hot Fuzz and World’s End fame) and we giggled and talked and walked and sat watching the world go by just as the mood took us.
I did take a few pictures and if you click on this one below, it’ll take you to the best of the bunch:
I also managed a trip to Hay (not for the festival itself, sadly, but you can’t have everything) and Addyman’s had just started putting out the 5k book collection of a writer focused on mythology and Arthurian myths and legends. I thought I’d gone to heaven but my credit card was not amused (that said, Addyman’s were quite happy).
I also spent a very quiet weekend in Gladstone’s Library, just re-centring myself and getting my head around a few personal things. It was a success in that I left feel complete calm and knowing exactly where I’m headed in my personal life. Given that the past few months have also seen me fix onto a defined career progression I’d say this was the most focused I’ve been on my life path than I’ve been in … well, in forever. Being me, this means I’m now waiting for something to go horribly wrong and derail everything – I do love the small bit inside me that repeatedly assures me that I do not deserve to be happy. Not. Although I’m getting far, far better at shutting it up.
However that is enough of my ridiculousness, have a picture of the glorious sunset over Gladstone’s Library instead:
I also happened to be in London at the right time to catch “An Evening with James Rhodes” where he played the piano, read from Instrumental and talked about the court case. Was pretty bowled over with emotion a couple of times and was so thrown by meeting him afterwards that I forgot to say goodbye to half the lovely friends I was there with.
The final blessing is that I was able to organise a Big Brew Up at my offices to raise funds for SSAFA during the week that ran up to UK Armed Forces Day.  SSAFA began life in February 1885 (as the Second Expeditionary Force left for Egypt, when Major (later Sir) James Gildea wrote a letter to Times requesting donations to help the military families left behind. The Soldiers and Sailors Families Association was soon set up and it hasn’t looked back, expanding as and when the need arose (i.e. during WWI when the RAF was created) and does absolutely sterling work with our forces and their families today. Between a cake and sweet sale (mostly baked by Mum and me) and the raffling off of a rather lovely GB Teddy Bear in Army kit, I managed to raise just over £260 – which is brilliant!!!
I also participated in the UK Armed Forces day itself, via the #SaluteOurForces hashtag – and this is the only time you’ll see me, as a civilian, saluting. Oh and the bear is Commando John Bear (the brother of Ranger Justin bear who was the SSAFA prize) and I loves him very much:
Study wise …
Yeah, it’s all happening. I’m where I thought I’d be in working through the course resources and my first face-to-face tutorial last week went really well as I ironed out a lot of the little questions I’d been hoarding as I went through the notes. Have another tuition block at the end of July, so I’m just powering up for that (in the evenings, since most of my weekends are spoken for, having been arranged well before I knew I’d be doing the course).
Writing wise …
I’ve added less than 10k to the word count this month, which is way under target, but I’m absolutely fine with that because I cannot do everything and study is more important. There has been some visible output though, which you can check out if you so wish; my monthly WWI post – a timeline for June 2016 – is here and I created another “chat” post for Get Your Words Out. If you fancy a bit of lunacy and a small giggle then please pop and read “On the Proper Care and Handling of Plot Bunnies”.
And finally, as always ….
Dog is not feeling particularly verbose tonight, given the problems of wearing a thick black coat in soaring temperatures, but she wishes it to be known that she has been a Very Good Dog this month in both her assiduous patrols of the border and in her guarding of the inside of the house. The house guarding is apparently demonstrated by her sitting by the front door, ready to trip over anyone who is foolish enough to either enter or exit the property:
She is also feeling a bit sad as a fellow Labrador, who was also the hearing dog of a friend of She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader, passed away and will be greatly missed. She-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Pack-Leader is rather sad about this too.

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